Tennessee Volunteers Step Up to Make Masks to Support Medical Personnel


Tennesseans have stepped up volunteer efforts to make masks to support medical personnel during the period of high demand and needs relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The shortage of masks has been a global and national discussion, with the country’s stockpile having been depleted under the Obama-Biden administration and not replenished.

One of those people who has been trying to help is Cecelia DeSonia who is president of Moms for Tennessee. DeSonia told The Tennessee Star she has been in contact with nurses who are in desperate need of masks.

Moms for Tennessee recognizes that mothers have a uniquely powerful influence both inside and outside the home which, when united, is amplified in the common goal of preserving traditional values of faith, family and liberty in the state.

DeSonia’s current “Love a Nurse Make a Mask” effort, putting the downtime associated with social distancing to good use, is getting enough moms and families involved to solve the mask shortage issue.

Cloth masks, which are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can be sterilized at the hospital or washed along with a nurse’s scrubs, says DeSonia.

DeSonia says this is truly a personal way to help those on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

At this point, DeSonia says she has more requests for masks than moms making them.

On her Moms for Tennessee website, DeSonia has two videos providing step-by-step instructions on how to make masks.

One homemade video features DeSonia’s daughter making a mask incorporating elastic to hold it on, almost from start to finish in about seven minutes.

A second video shows how to make two different style masks using ties for secure as healthcare worker to secure it.

JOANN’s Fabric and Craft Stores is also helping to support our country’s medical personnel with their Make to Give effort.

President and CEO Wade Miquelon said that since launching the Make to Give effort, JOANN’s has donated fabric for more than 1.5 million masks.

Miquelon recognized that what customers are doing is far beyond what JOANN’s has given through their program. Miquelon estimates that customers have purchased enough cotton, the preferred fabric, and elastic to make nearly 9 million masks.

JOANN’s website offers instructions on making masks, sewing patterns and the ability to shop for cotton fabric on line.

To protect their customers and teams across the country, JOANN’s store hours have been reduced, although curbside pick-up for on-line orders is available at all open locations.

Moms for Tennessee’s DeSonia advises that in the Nashville area, masks can be delivered to Vanderbilt Hospital’s emergency room or main entrance.

JOANN’s, also a grassroots effort, will connect with hospitals near their stores to provide items to local hospital to be used at their discretion.

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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.
Photo “Moms for Tennessee” by Cecelia DeSonia.





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One Thought to “Tennessee Volunteers Step Up to Make Masks to Support Medical Personnel”

  1. Julie Bryant

    Great Idea and bravo for making masks for the workers. One pointer from a long time seamstress and manufacturer of dance and fitness wear, if you will insert the pins the opposite way with the point to the edge that you are sewing the pins are out of the way and the process will go faster. Also most machine will pass over the pointed end of the pins as long as the needle of the machine doesn’t hit the pin directly.