‘I want everyone to stay safe’: Warren County fifth-grader sewing protective masks at home

An area student has taken up the battle against the coronavirus by firing up a sewing machine to make protective masks.

Brooklyn Work, 11, of Lebanon Schools has helped her mother Christine, a Mason Schools’ teacher, sew together hundreds of protective masks, distributed free to area communities.

The masks are not medical grade but are created at the family’s sewing machine and crafted together according to material and health guidelines provided by Warren County emergency officials.

“Warren County Emergency Services had reached out for donations on social media, so I connected with them,” Christine Work said.

The masks, which are distributed through the county services department, are only a deterrent in fighting the spread of coronavirus and not a medically-sanctioned, personal protective device.

Explore MORE: First Butler County coronavirus death reported in Hamilton

Brooklyn said that “it was really fun and I knew it was for a good cause.”

“I have always wanted to learn how to sew, and making the masks was a way for me to achieve that goal. I want everyone to stay safe, and making the masks was just one way of showing my support,” she said.

She’s not alone in taking to a sewing machine to help. Mason Schools teacher Emily Stein Cohen is also making masks from home.

Explore MORE: High school seniors, parents fear coronavirus threatens high school proms, graduations

“I’m using 100% cotton and they are folded & sewn in half, so two layers of material,” she said. “There is a pocket for people to put in their own filter.”

“I also have a small, flat twist tie that is sewn in there at the nose so it stays flat against the nose. They are not meant for front line, ICU doctors & nurses, they would not cover the N95 masks safely. My intention is for anyone who feels safer with a mask than without it, and I think that speaks for a lot of people today.”

A small, laminated tag is attached with a Biblical verse:” I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” From Phillippians 4:13.

“I’ve made about 375 so far,” she said.

“I decided to make masks because I looked around my community, then, even bigger, my friends and family nationwide and realized there is a real need for masks right now,” said Cohen. “ I love to sew and what better use of all this free time since we are in quarantine?”

About the Author