Senior Volunteers Sew Cloth Masks to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19


As the need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) continues to rise due to the Coronavirus pandemic, shelves have been wiped clean and are tough to find. Seven local Columbus sewers from the RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) at the Fox Senior Center, including Joan Church, normally sew hospice robes, but now they are putting their hands to work and stitching cloth masks.

“In a couple of days they brought about 25 pounds of material to my house,” said Church. “I’m not sewing 25 pounds, but that’s about how much it weighed.”

Church began making masks a little over a week ago, and on average it takes her three to four hours to create five masks at a time. Once finished they will be distributed by the RSVP.

“It’s precise stitching, it’s not like the lap robes. The lap robes we go 39 inches of just straight shot. This thing is only 14 inches and you fold it so it’s seven inches, 7×10, so you’re moving the machine around.”

Church likes volunteering with RSVP, a place she’s given five years of service, but now she misses her weekly stitching sessions with her friends.

“To do the lap robes we get together Thursday and Friday morning at Fox, and so this is what’s really weird. Doing it in our homes. Not nearly as much fun.”

Between robes and now masks, the volunteers the the Fox Senior Center are sewing all year long.

“We collect fabric for the lap robes all the time. Just bring it to Fox, and we’ll use it. It might take us a while depending on how many people have given us fabric.”

Those who would like to help sew or would like to donate fabric or elastic can contact 706-225-4658 or email You can also keep up with their project on Facebook at:

The RSVP volunteers found a design from Birmingham, AL that is easy to follow. Here is the link to make a cloth mask that is sewn or not-stitched: Reminder, this is not a replacement for a PPE. These masks are intended to be used in low-risk scenarios to save N95 and other high-level PPE for use with COVID-19 and other droplet precaution patients.


Categories: Georgia News, Health