As part of a Danville–Boyle County community effort, the Centre College program in dramatic arts is utilizing resources from its costume shop to support the local health community. With the help of a basic sewing machine, faculty and staff members can make masks from a pattern provided by the Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center (EMRMC).
“We started seeing and hearing about the shortages of masks in the news and on social media,” said Matthew Hallock, professor of dramatic arts. “We also saw that people in the community were starting to put their maker skills to use to try and help.”
Since Centre’s production season is currently paused due to the current COVID-19 situation, those in the dramatic arts program thought it would be a good idea to see if they could offer some of the resources from its costume shop to help those who were working to make masks for health care workers.
Hallock reached out to some friends in the community who put him in contact with leadership at EMRMC, and they were very receptive to the idea of the College supporting this effort.
“Since we can’t work together in the costume shop—because of social distancing requirements—we decided we would package ‘kits’ to distribute to members of the campus community,” Hallock explained. “Each kit contains enough fabric to make around 15 masks, along with elastic and/or cotton cording and a short length of wire—for the moldable section at the bridge of the nose. There are also a few pins and some instructions. Some folks have even borrowed sewing machines.”
After the word was out about this endeavor, Hallock said they gave out enough fabric and materials to produce roughly 250 masks.
“If those come back and people want to make more, I’ll dig back into the shop for more fabric and we’ll keep going,” he added. “We’re really just playing this by ear.”
Once the masks have been collected, they will be delivered back to the medical center, wbich will manage the distribution throughout their system and to other entities that can use them.
“The culture around here is built on creating a caring and supportive environment for our students, so it’s not surprising to see folks quickly refocus that impulse for this effort,” Hallock concluded.
“If folks would like to help out the larger effort—and if they have a Facebook account—they should go to ‘Masks For Our Healthcare Workers Danville/Boyle County.’ There are currently almost 500 members, and they’re doing important work to help our local health care community.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
March 27, 2020