Dicken parapro has sewn 230 masks for healthcare workers, friends and family; says she is part of a 'village united in tough times'

Jean Reynolds invites other to join the cause

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Every evening, Dicken parapro Jean Reynolds places bags on her front porch filled with the protective masks she sewed that day.

And every morning, those masks have been picked up by those who need them, and more often than not, replaced with donations of fabric, ribbon, trim and supplies so Reynolds can keep up the good work.

So far, she’s made 230 masks and she has requests for 60 more.

“This is a situation that has brought so many together,” says Reynolds.  “It’s so heartwarming to see our whole village unite in tough times.”

Reynolds started making the masks two weeks ago after a friend whose wife is a physician at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital asked her to join others who were sewing masks for the hospital.

Reynolds’ masks will be picked up by those who’ve requested them.

“I had wanted to help but at that time many hospitals were not accepting homemade masks,” she says. “So I was excited to help, especially having a face on the front lines telling me they needed masks.”

Using a huge stash of fabric and trims she already owned and a pattern from the Ann Arbor Sewing Center, Reynolds got to work.

Reynolds helps others are inspired to join her.

“As I kept sewing, I started to run out of trim for the ties,” she says, noting that she subsequently received a donation of trim from the PTO Thrift Shop.

After she finished her first 100 masks, she began making them for friends, family, and neighbors.

 “We need more people to sew,” she says, noting she’s received requests from the Humane Society of Huron Valley, the Jewish Community Center food pantry and nursing homes as far away as Lansing. “You don’t need to make 100; even ten will help.”

Reynolds says she misses the first graders she works with at Dicken.

“I have been doing this for 24 years,” she says, “so it is hard to not be at school.”

Making the masks helps fulfill her need to be of service to others, says Reynolds, who encourages those who want to help to email her at reynolds@aaps.k12.mi.us.

“I hope someone gets inspired to dust off their machine and join me,” she says. 

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