"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead
Tonight I watched the video tutorial that Eileen Raab created for the webinar she did on The Sanctuary For Independent Media’s show. In the webinar Eileen, a nurse exposed to Covid-19, described how this entire mask-making project began and grew, and how she got involved. The project is an amazing reminder of the power of the Human Heart. Eileen, who had to self-quarantine, wanted to do something to help and found her way into the week-old beginnings of the Community Care Planning Group, and into mask making.
In so many different ways, all those volunteering for The Mighty Masketeers have a similar story. Some were already making masks on their own and then heard of this group. Others heard about it because the businesses where they work were gifted masks, and that inspired them to want to help. Somewhere out there is a woman who works for Joann Fabrics, which has donated hundreds of yards of fabric here in Columbia County, and she decided to join. Yet another, who “knows nothing about sewing,” yet is amazing at internet research, heard about what we are doing and wanted to support us. He has spent hours scouring the internet finding elastic, thread, and the often elusive interfacing. Last week he found a source for the filtration material used in masks BEFORE it is made into furnace filters. This may seem insignificant, but there is a team of volunteers who have spent countless hours disassembling new furnace filters so those who cut and sew can have what they need.
Not only is no one getting paid, almost everyone has reached into their own pockets and offered… gas money to drivers who everyday have used their own money to fill their tanks, or others who found a bolt of interfacing or elastic somewhere and bought on the spot before it disappeared.
Children are sewing masks by hand, unbending paperclips, helped to design our gorgeous logo and are drawing beautiful Thank-You notes for first responders getting masks. The children are making sure that every delivery of masks has a love note attached.
Buried underneath all of our jobs, legislation, regulations, economy, politics and laws … the Human Heart beats, deeply nourished by these moments.
This is who we really are.
This is what we love to do.
We create Beauty at the most difficult times by helping, by being a part of the solution, by letting our hearts… the finest, most generous, loving Intelligence of Humanity… be our guides.
May we all learn to appreciate that the Human Heart is truly the Highest that humanity has to offer the Earth.
~~Deborah Doyle, Central Supply Station, Chatham, NY
I know that we’re working towards a healthier, safer world with all the efforts we are taking to maintain social distancing. But the distance gets to me. It can feel really -- well -- isolated, sometimes even when my four noisy kiddos are surrounding me.
But I sense a slow healing just under the surface of my routines that has nothing to do with viruses. Now when I pass a neighbor on the street, the polite wave or nod has changed to a genuine smile of happiness and companionship, even as we cross the street to avoid getting close.
Rainbows have popped up in windows in so many houses, silent but beautiful expressions of solidarity. My children seek them out every time we walk - and never miss a new one.
When I sew a mask, my hands busy and my heart full, it’s another form of connection. To the person who I imagine will wear the mask, who’s maybe packing lunches for school children, or caring for someone who’s at risk, or working in a hospital, or living in a shelter.
And it’s opened up a new connection with my family. My teenage daughter sits next to me while I sew, mining old fitted sheets for their elastic - a newly precious commodity. My three boys gravitate toward the table as well -- maybe to draw or work on another project. And I realize that I never used to sit still. Now when I sit down to the sewing machine, I feel like there’s a bubble around me and my children, and I can infuse the masks I make with that feeling of community and connection and love.
We’re all a family under one sky. And social distancing may bring us even closer.
--Anonymous Masketeer, Chatham, NY