When Wauwatosa’s Juanita Jones first called Shorehaven, it was not to make idle chatter. She had a job to do.

Jones had checked on the Deaconess website for health facilities in need of face masks. Deaconess had a database listed of all facilities reaching out for supplies. Shorehaven and facilities across the globe are asking for sewers to step up to create masks for health care workers dealing with COVID-19 cases. Jones wanted to be “added to that corps.”

“My mother sewed her whole life, my cousin owns a quilt shop up north, I’ve got my mother’s sewing machine, and I knew I could sew a square of darts,” she laughed. “We’ve got sewing in our genes, ready to go.”

Jones responded to Shorehaven’s appeal for masks “because it was closest to drive to and drop off.” She had already given masks to friends and family who were going to work. “Now,” she said, “I knew I could do more for those in need.”

Using her own all cotton material, pieces of gauze for particle protection, heavy-duty elastic for the right reach, and an adult and larger adult sizing, Jones is producing dozens of masks, assembling 10 to a bag and depositing at Shorehaven’s main entrance. Her cousin in Tomahawk, “the real sewer of the bunch,” is creating face shields for UW Health System employees. “My cousin and I were waiting to identify who was in need and where they were in need. Then we set to work.”

Trying several different patterns, shapes, and sizing, she decided on the “tried and true” face mask pattern shown on the Deaconess website, and has “finally perfected my design.” Jones has now delivered 150 face masks to Shorehaven. “I wanted to help someone right at home before going somewhere else.”

We are accepting donations of homemade masks. To donate masks or for pattern information, email Sarah Williams-Berg, Director of Community Relations, at swberg@lho.org.