Amish make thousands of masks for health care workers

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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The Amish community is ramping up its efforts to make thousands of face masks for Goshen health care workers.

It all began when Goshen Health created kits for the community to sew masks in early-April. Since then, the numbers of masks made just kept on getting higher.

"It began with a spark of generosity," Goshen Health Vice President Jim Caskey says.

Before Caskey knew it, sewing kits began to grow from one, to several, to hundreds, to thousands.

"They (sewing kits) came from many other sources that we were working with, local manufacturers, those kind of folks," Caskey said.

That is until an Amish Middlebury man, his family, and a volunteer network of seamstresses came forward wanting to help.

Volunteers told Caskey, "We can provide fabric, we can cut things out, so and so at the next district can do this, and so our worlds just kept getting much larger because of the connections that they started by asking us 'how can we good neighbors?'"

The connection of support grew so large, the Amish community was able to sew, collect, and deliver over 4,500 masks to Goshen Health. It is a staggering number that Caskey says represents just how helpful the community has been during the pandemic.

"You hear that a lot of 'we are all in this together' but as you just look at this kind of example, of how we are there for them when they need life-saving or healthcare things, this is the turning of the tables. All that technology doesn't do us any good if we can't take care of ourselves and protect ourselves from this virus and here they are with this skill set and willingness to jump in and show us what they can do to help us do what we do," Caskey says.

Goshen Health says along with the more than 4,500 masks that have already been sewed and delivered, they have received enough supplies for nearly 3,000 more masks.

According to a press release, Goshen Health officials have been told that the Amish community is also willing to volunteer and make the majority of those masks as well.