JUST LOVE: Masks-on
encourages Local MSC churches to provide homemade cloth masks for local, frontline workers in their neighborhood/community. As a connectional project, churches can have a significant impact on a regional level while serving in the unique context of communities ranging from rural to urban.
Each week, new UMCs contributed to the JUST LOVE Masks-On Initiative! Reaching out in a collaborative effort within the neighborhoods and communities they serve, congregations can respond to their individualized needs. As of July 5, we reported more than 35,340 masks created by MSC UMCs!
The masks have been distributed locally, throughout the state, and to states Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, Toronto, and the Navajo Nation. The masks will be worn by family, friends, children, firefighters, counselors, physical therapists, and folks we don’t even know.
*If your congregation is already making masks for the community: Keep up the good work! Please report your efforts as outlined below so that we can include your story at Annual Conference. See at the bottom of this report on how to contribute your story.
Grace Church in Buena Vista, Colorado
500 masks were made by Grace Church and they were shared with people throughout the community. Those who received masks include the staff and children at Heart of the Rockies Medical Center, local doctors, veterinary clinics, grocery stores, members of the congregation, and friends and family.
--submitted by David Erickson
Delta UMC in CO
Delta UMC in Colorado contributed 120 masks to church members, a local hospice, and a hospital.
--submitted by Cindy Warren
Grace United Methodist Church in Missoula, MT
It was a rewarding expereince to create between 50-60 masks for congregation members and also business such as Costco, First Security Bank, and the Opportunity Workshop.
-- submitted by Susan Rasmussen
First UMC Fort Collins, CO
Megan Wieck from First UMC Fort Collins in Colorado shares: "I am regularly a seamstress for Canyon Concert Ballet here in Fort Collins, as well as an office manager for Respite Care. I usually sew tulle and satin but have switched to cotton. I am sewing masks in my spare time, around working at home, homeschooling my three kids and moving! I am past 100 masks almost past 150. Not as much as some but a good number. I have donated to Respite Care, so we could reopen and provide childcare to our high risk population (we are a child care center for children with developmental disabilities and high medical needs). I have donated to individuals, strangers, family and friends. Also to UCHealth non- essential workers who have recently started back. And last but not least to the church. I made masks for all church staff and now have a system set up with our Pastor Cynthia Paquette where she emails the number needed each Friday and I drop them of in the mailbox. I will continue to sew masks for anyone who asks. Always free and with love."
-- submitted by Megan Wieck
Living Waters United Methodist Church in Belgrade, MT
Healthcare workers, the homeless, children's centers, family, clergy, and anyone who needed a mask received one from Living Waters UMC in Belgrade, MT. "I've actually joined a local group called Montana Masks for Heroes. I send masks to them but I also give them to anyone who has a need. Shelly Batey from Living Waters is also cranking out tons of masks. I put together little packets with a mask and a dollar bill," says Marty Veltkamp.
-- Marty Veltkamp
FUMC Windsor in CO
More than 650 masks went to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, grocery stores, individual homes, and the church. FUMC Windsor also donated grocery gift cards and thank you notes in mid-April to all environmental services/custodial employees in 3 northern CO hospitals in an ecumenical effort of Episcopalians, Catholics and United Methodists (to go along with the mask donation). From Banner McKee Medical Center's Facebook page on April 17: "We are very thankful to Pastor Emily Flemming, members of the First United Methodist Church in Windsor and others who joined her to support our health care heroes. Pastor Flemming helped collect 250 cloth masks and money to provide $25 gift cards to our environmental services team!"
submitted by Emily Flemming
Good Shepherd UMC in Thornton, CO
524 masks went to health workers; school teachers; students and parents; senior living facilities; church members and guests. Good Shepherd UMC is still working hard providing to all who have a need.
--submitted by Lin Cheek
Highlands United Methodist Church in Denver, CO
An astounding 20,000 masks were made for those throughout the community that Highlands UMC in Denver, CO serves. "All of our masks are made through the CO Sewing Coalition [which] we manage, support, and house. They are made by under/unemployed community members who are hired at a $15/hr living wage."
--submitted by Bradley Laurvick
Shepherd of the Hills in St George, UT
Hospitals, Native American Reservations, and schools were the recipients of 250 masks made by Shepherd of the Hills.
--submitted by Michael Chamness
UMC of Johnstown in CO
Thanks for UMC of Johnstown for sharing more than 200 masks with schools, hospitals, and the foodbank.
--submitted by Jeremy Scott
Shiloh UMC in Billings, MT
Darlene Newstrom has been the driver behind this ministry that has distributed 500 masks to Big Sky Senior Services, churches, HUB homeless minsitry, hospitals and healthcare.
--submitted by Tyler Amundson
Heritage UMC in Littleton, CO
Nursing homes, health care workers, congregation members and their families received the 200 masks made by Heritage UMC.
--submitted by Kirsten Barlow
United Church of Walsenburg in CO
United Church of Walsenburg in Walsenburg, CO shared over 750 of their hand-made masks with health care organizations, truckers at truck stop, the elderly, friends, and their church family. Judith McCutcheon sewed six child-size quilts out of the mask fabric scraps. What a wonderful way to use every bit of fabric without waste!
-- submitted by Judith McCutcheon
Mountain Sky Conference of The UMC
Shelley Rabern of the Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church joined the JUST LOVE Masks On initiative and made 60 masks for neighbors, friends, and family members.
-- submitted by Shelley Rabern
Steamboat Springs businesses, Casey’s Pond (a retirement home), hospitals around the country, and friends and family received the 1200 masks created by Heart of Steamboat UMC in Steamboat, CO. "We had more than a dozen members of our congregation who shared their sewing talents with our congregation, our community and hospitals across the country."
Heart of Steamboat UMC in Steamboat Springs, CO
-- submitted by Pamela Ruehle
Van Orsdel UMC in Havre, MT
Van Orsdel United Methodist Church in Havre, Montana made 1,200 masks and 10 gowns to share with hospitals, care centers, assisted living facilities, church members, and health clinics. "It's been a wonderful cooperative effort."
-- submitted by Sandy Brown
Smoky Hill UMC in Centennial, CO
Smoky Hill UMC in Centennial, CO has made 1550 masks. They have been distributed to medical practices, senior care centers, Children's Hospital in Colorado, distribution centers, businesses, grocers, homeless shelters, recovery centers, a penitentiary, and of course to our congregation and surrounding community. "It has been an amazing experience to witness how people have shared resources and time (estimated at over 750 hours) to contribute in what way we can to help and protect others during this pandemic. In gratitude, people that are financially able have donated money which we will give back to our church."
--submitted by Jana Jones
Estes Park UMC in Estes Park CO
Estes Park United Methodist Church in Estes Park, CO has made 160 masks that were donated to a residential substance abuse treatment center.
--submitted by Lela Criswell
Salmon UMC in Salmon, Idaho
Jackie Pederson, Marie Wothe and Babbie Wolf made over 700 masks for a hospital, senior center, hospice, physical therapy clinic, the local grocery store, the church congregation and the community at large. Jackie made 45 dozen herself. Some of these masks found their way to a Navy ship, Las Vegas, NV, and Twin Falls, ID. Masks were also sent to family members all over the country.
--submitted by Kelly Murdock-Billy
Boulder UMC in Boulder, MT
200 masks were given to heath organizations, grocery stores, and individuals that were in need.
--submitted by Val Colenso
Calhan UMC in Calhan, Colorado
950 masks were made and given to the Navajo Nation, local businesses' essential workers, nursing homes, Colorado Springs Emergency Management, homeless shelters, and a local food pantry. "Our local Masketeers are 5 women friends who call their group Hanging On By A Thread. They make and we give cloth masks away free, and make sizes for children and adults."
--submitted by Rev. Melinda Baber
CONAM in Utah/Western CO
The Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) has made more than
200 masks for Indian Health Service Hospital in Shiprock, New Mexico. These
masks are sent to the head of Public Health Nurses, who attends Native Grace in Cortez, CO.
--submitted by Glenna Brayton
Louisville UMC in Louisville, CO makes special masks for hearing impaired
350 masks were distributed to healthcare, local community groups, and the hearing impaired community by the generous folks of Louisville UMC in Louisville, CO. "One of our mask makers is hearing impaired and is working to make more masks with a vinyl insert that allows for lip reading. The outpouring of love from this marginalized community for these masks that help to free them (and those they communicate with) from further isolation and frustration has been overwhelming."
-- submitted by Donna Spearman
Grace UMC in Dillon, MT
75 total masks were given to local Barrett’s Hospital and Clinic. Lil and Spence Hegstad made half of them.
--submitted by Kerstin Lorenzen
First UMC in Berthoud, CO
The Berthoud Fire Department, church family and friends, a residential treatment facility in Denver, and a nomad group in Florida received over 175 masks. "7 mask-makers, from 15 to 85 years old spent untold hours over the past 2 months. As we sewed, we saw the need and the importance of mask-wearing grow and grow!"
--submitted by Elizabeth Haskins
First UMC of Fort Lupton, CO share hope and trust with masks
Over 300 masks went to anyone in the community that wanted or needed one, including the homeless community, healthcare workers, doctor's offices, food service workers at the hospital, grocery front line workers, and restaurant workers. "We also included [masks] in Hope and Trust Bags that were given to those in the community: a mask, snacks, popcorn, coloring page, word search and seed packet to encourage the recipients to look to the future with hope. Hope for the future and trust in the Lord was the message we prayed as we shared."
--submitted by Robin Anders
The Mighty Mask Makers of Community UMC in Ogden, UT
As of May 25, 2020, 1,427 masks were sewn by Community UMC in Ogden, UT. Recipients include the church family, neighbors, and the friends and community of Washington Terrace. The UT Busy Bees Pediatric Clinic in Bountiful, UT that serves many low income families also received donations of masks. "14 volunteers have been making the masks. We call them our 'Mighty Mask Makers.' They have put in approximately 415 hours making them. 9 volunteers have given approximately 50 hours to date passing out and delivering the masks. We will continue to make masks until we find we no longer need to wear them to protect others. It has been a heartwarming project for our church!"
--submitted by Claudette Rothwell
Pikes Peak UMC in Colorado Springs, CO
The congregations and extended families of Pikes Peak UMC and Trinity UMC, West Side Cares received 210 masks. "There are currently only three sewers. We call ourselves the "Mask Force" (playing on task force) and we continue to sew for West Side Cares."
--submitted by Pastor Dea Sharp
Cascade UMC in Cascade, MT creatively serves those with hearing aides
153 masks went to Great Falls Clinic in Great Falls, Montana; employees of a local grocery store (468 Market); local school employees and children; church members and local community members (all at no charge). "Using fabric leftovers from her numerous quilting projects, Pastor Dotti Behling has been sewing masks in different styles to provide free masks to any Cascade and surrounding area resident. One of the things Pastor Dotti has noticed, since she herself wears both eye glasses and hearing aides, is that some masks that use elastic loops behind the ear often add too much bulk behind the ear, so she has included styles of masks that have elastic that circles the back of the head and neck or uses a very thin elastic cord for use behind the ear. She has distributed masks to the local grocery store for any employees who desired them. She has provided masks to school employees who are working the continuing meal provisions for students. She has teamed with the Great Falls Clinic medical community to provide over 4 dozen masks to them. She will be sewing additional masks to have available at the door when the Cascade church re(launches)."
--submitted by Dotti Behling
Longs Peak UMC in Longmont, CO
Over 400 masks were made by Longs Peak UMC in Longmont, CO. Recipients include Longmont United Hospital, two local non-profits that serve the homeless (HOPE & Agape Safe Haven), Meals-on-Wheels, and many congregation and community members that requested a mask. "We found that not only did this mask making effort allow us to help keep our community safe, it also gave us a great opportunity for much needed personal connection with our congregation and community ...while, of course, keeping the appropriate physical distance. It also gave the mask makers and deliverers a wonderful opportunity to put their God-given gifts to use in this time of need." Hats off to Longs Peak UMC for their wonderful work in the community.
-- submitted by Donna Chuang
Arvada UMC in CO
Kindness in Arvada, Colorado caused a ripple of generosity that traveled up and down the East coast. The mask makers at Arvada UMC made over 300 masks to be distributed to assisted living facilities, health care workers, and first responders. 77 of these cloth masks were donated to Veterinary Emergency Group, who in turn payed it forward to hospitals thousands of miles away. Because the veterinary staff could use the handmade cloth masks, they donated all their disposable and surgical masks (more than 240 in total) to personnel fighting COVID-19 in “human hospitals” in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts. A huge thank you to all those who give care -- both to our furry friends as well as our family and loved ones. And a huge thank you to those who make masks to keep the caregivers safe.
Northglenn UMC in CO
Northglenn United Methodist quilters and sewers are happy to report they have made and delivered over 150 fabric face masks to area senior living centers. We chose donating to these centers as we have church members living within. Way to go ladies! Rev. Debra Wacker added, "The Northglenn quilters and sewers stepped up to help and meet the needs of the church and community in early April. Presently, they are making more masks to have on hand for small group meetings and when we open our doors and once again worship together. The presence of the Lord radiates through them. Thanks be to God!"
--submitted by Gay Weber
Update from Gay Weber on May 18, 2020:
"Northglenn United Methodist quilters and sewers are happy to report they have made and delivered over 150 fabric face masks to area senior living centers. We chose donating to these centers as we have church members living within. We used these members for delivering the donations as outsiders are not permitted in the facilities. We have received several "Thank You" notes, so we feel the masks have been appreciated.
We have also made and donated about 50 masks to our church that they pass out to people in need. Now we are making masks for the Church to have as needed for worship services and other meetings."
St. Paul's UMC in Helena, MT
Claudia Davis of St. Paul’s UMC in Helena, MT was able to mix good-deed-doing and family bonding in the creation of over 60 masks. Claudia and her sister-in-law set up their workstations side by side in the basement sewing room and had a time of great bonding, laughing, and conversation while sewing masks to share with the community. And when she ran out of elastic and realized there was no elastic available to be purchased, her good friend Anita Turner (wife of retired pastor Terry Turner) came to the rescue and shared 6 yards of elastic. Those 6 yards of elastic became 12 yards when a resourceful Claudia cut it in half length-wise. St. Peter’s Health, Family Outreach, and family and friends were the beneficiaries of Claudia’s handiwork. Thank you, Claudia, for sharing the love with Helena, MT.
"Who Was that Masked Seamstress?"
Mountain View UMC in Boulder, CO
Boulder’s Mountain View UMC "Saturday Stitchers" and friends have been riding their sewing machines to the rescue of family, neighbors, friends and folks they don’t even know. These women have sewn more than 1,300 masks (and counting), plus scrub caps. The fruits of their talent and creativity are spreading far and wide. Recipients include the:
- Mary Martha United Methodist Women circle at Frasier Manor Retirement Community;
- Navajo Indian nation;
- Boulder; Broomfield, Lafayette, Louisville and Denver area hospitals;
- Denver firefighters;
- Denver Head Start students;
- A counseling facility in Oklahoma and;
- Project Angel Heart nonprofit that assist with meal deliveries to ill folks.
Thanks to our network of friends--from water aerobics class members to the Dress a Girl Around the World group at Foundations Church in Loveland, to Days for Girls units in Colorado--we have shared fabric, elastic, buttons, and encouragement in serving both our church family and others in need of a little old-fashioned love.
What’s next? In June, the Mountain View Care Team will deliver packages to our members who are shut-in at home or residing in nursing and assisted living facilities. Along with home-baked goodies, fruit and notes of friendship, the packages will include masks that share the love.
COVID-19 Mask Distributers
- Joyce Takamine—500+ masks to nursing homes, memory care, assisted living, Mary Martha circle members at FMRC, Mountain View Care Team care packages, and 300 masks plus other needed supplies to the Navajo Nation. Joyce is part of a Days for Girls chapter that made 4,000 masks in April.
- Sue McGrath—100 masks—25 to Project Angel Heart (they deliver meals to ill folks), and for Care Team packages, plus family and friends.
- Patricia White—425 masks—her Days for Girls chapter has made a total of 975 masks; they have gone to Children’s Hospital (Aurora and Broomfield), Boulder Community, Denver Health, Avista, Good Samaritan, Lutheran, and as far as Ohio State University Hospital, Toronto and Hilo, Hawaii Hospital.
- Debbie Garrison—25 masks for family, friends, and Boulder Community Hospital. Thinking about scrub caps next.
- Elizabeth Kaufman—17 adult and 4 children’s masks in process, plus masks for family and Pua’s mother in Hawaii.
- Martha Swanson—45 (30 went to the Academy in Boulder, rest to family, neighbors, friends and friends of friends).
- Linda Chambers—10 masks for JoAnn’s Fabrics for hospitals, 4 for neighbors, 8 for family.
- Ramona Corwin-Brown—75+ masks, 50 ‘earmarked’ for the Jetty Counseling Center in Oklahoma.
- Boulder First UMC—making masks for Boulder County Justice Services.
- Vandy Vandervort—21 to Navajo Indian Nation, plus others to family and friends. Her neighbors bought masks and the money was contributed to Community Food Share.
- Leann Stelzer—30-40 made for family, friends and local fire department. An equal amount cut out and ready to sew, after my broken wrist heals. I am donating fabric to a mother and daughter who are making 500 masks for Head Start to begin in June.
- Chris Hix—58 scrub caps for Lutheran Hospital, masks for family and friends.
- Soraya—20 for family, physical therapists, and spares for homeless.
- Leni and Andrea—masks for family, Boulder mah jong ladies, and children.
- Cheryl Runyon—knitting masks, but it will be a little warm for these in until the fall.
Here are more on special reports on some of the churches' efforts:
(A full list of contributors can be found below).
How to Contribute to Masks-On! Initiative
Here's how it works:
1. Identify where masks may be needed and reach out to businesses that are open during the stay at home order, including but not limited to:
- grocery and convenience stores
- hardware stores
- take-out and food delivery
- food banks & other social service agencies
- nursing homes and group homes
2. In collaboration with
the business(es), determine what the need is and agree on a number of masks. Are there other partnerships to be formed, relationships to foster, prayers and words of grace to offer?
3. Make, bless or pray over, then deliver the masks.
4. With a card or kind word let the recipients know: “This is a gift of love for you – No strings attached.”
5. Report the number of masks here: https://mtnsky-reg.brtapp.com/JustLoveMaskson
And send one photo (optional) to firstname.lastname@example.org