1,700 Masks Later, A Resident Keeps Sewing for her Community
In spite of all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, one resident at Yorkdale has found a way to keep herself busy at home and support her community by putting her sewing skills to work—personally making and donating masks for friends, family, and community members. Read more about her community impact below!
Yorkdale resident Darlis (Dar) first learned to sew in middle school, where she would repair worn-out items for friends and occasionally donate her creations to people in her community. Now, many years later, she has taken up sewing again on a large scale: making and donating masks to friends, family, and community members as one way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Since the onset of the virus in Minnesota, Dar estimates that she’s made over 1,700 masks—and she continues to do so! “I’ll continue to make masks as long as they’re in demand,” she said.
Dar first started making masks in the middle on March, after her daughter forbade her from going out due to concerns about COVID-19. Having a chronic disease and thus being especially vulnerable to COVID-19, Dar wanted to find a way to fill her newfound time at home, as well as do something to help her community during such a challenging time. She then got the idea to use her sewing skills to make masks, and began to look for supplies. A friend connected her to a community member who was offering up free bags of fabric and thread; so with donated materials, she got to work and set up a sewing station for herself in her living room.
While she can’t estimate how long it takes to make one mask, since she makes them in stages, Dar did disclose that the most that she’s made in one day—about 8 hours of work—is 100 masks! On other days, it’s closer to 20, or 50.
As she continues to make masks, she’s acquired additional donated fabric, elastic, and ribbons from friends and community members, so there’s no huge cost to make them. She also remains committed to donating her creations. She shares, “I can’t justify selling something when someone is in need.”
With the help of Rachel, her onsite Advantage Services Coordinator, Dar has given masks to her fellow Yorkdale residents, including her immediate neighbors’ family of seven. She’s also sent masks to places like Cub Foods, Presbyterian Homes, local hospitals, doctors’ offices, firefighters, her pharmacy, as well as to friends and family all over the country. Many recipients of her masks have sent her thank-you notes to show their appreciation, about which Dar has said, “that means more to me than getting paid.”
Dar has lived at her Yorkdale townhome since 2009 and still considers it a blessing to live in the unit that she does; her garage is right across from her home, and her yard—which she’s put great effort into and is filled with plants and an arbor that she put up—has become the envy of her neighbors. “If I had an opportunity to move to a different home, I don’t know if I would, because I love living here. The neighbors are great; the staff is great… I would say on a 1 to 10 scale, it’s a 15 to live here.”
Dar’s story is a great reminder to never underestimate the impact of one person’s efforts on the greater community, and the importance of looking out for neighbors during difficult times. CommonBond Communities are truly communities, filled with residents who care for one another. As Dar said, “To me, this is home. This is home.”