CINCINNATI, Ohio—As businesses reopened, many were worried about making sure all of their employees had the proper PPE to protect themselves. Thankfully, a group of volunteers in Cincinnati came together to sew masks for all of the staff at the Cincinnati Parks to make sure they could get back open.
Jean Buelterma’s sewing machine hasn’t seen so much fabric in its 15 years with her. And now, 300 fabric masks later, she may be an expert sewer.
As a Cincinnati Park volunteer for the past six years, when she was asked to help with the project, she decided to go for it.
“Before, I thought, ha, that’s kind of silly, what are you wearing a mask for,” Buelterman said. “And then I started watching it and hearing the governor and everyone on TV and seeing that it was something that was essentially an important thing and I thought, I can do this.”
For Buelterman, it actually gave her something to do and look forward to during quarantine. She lives alone and as a former teacher, she’s used to helping others.
“As it dragged on, it got harder on people,” she said. “But to know it wasn’t just me here in Cincinnati that was having this trouble.”
So that’s why she got the sewing machine back out.
Now every staff member of the Cincinnati Parks has three homemade masks from volunteers like Buelterman. They say the masks were a lifesaver and helped them make summer camp still happen this year.
“It gives me just a little thrill I guess, to see that people like them and they look good with what they’re wearing,” Buelterman said. “So it’s given me purpose and I feel good about that.”
While it may seem like a small task, Buekterman says it was also a blessing for her during a difficult time.
“I’m glad that I could do something that was worthwhile and it gave me a purpose,” she said.