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Local stitchers come through with masks for area nurses

Local stitchers come through with masks for area nurses
These masked stitchers are Jan Tjaden, Sue Hietbrink and Holly Connor, along with Julie Funk and Laura Wallace of Comprehensive Systems in Charles City. About 350 homemade face masks were delivered to Stitches Fabric and Yarn Shoppe in Charles City Wednesday morning, with more to come. (Press photo James Grob.)
By James Grob,

The newest Marvel gang of superheroes just might be called “The Masked Stitchers.”

Like superheroes, these real-life local heroes were there when they were needed the most.

“They came through as promised!” exclaimed Sue Ayers of Chautauqua Guest Homes in Charles City. “Fifty masks for each home. Chautauqua thanks Holly Connor and all of the area seamstresses for their efforts!”

Facilitated by Connor, owner of Stitches Fabric and Yarn Shoppe in Charles City, a handful of motivated sewers have helped to resupply some local nurses at local care centers and other various facilities with face masks. The first batch of about 350 masks was delivered to the shop on Wednesday morning.

“I’m giving fabric and elastic away until I don’t have anymore left,” Connor said. “We’ll take donations, but I have enough fabric for about 30 million masks.”

To comply with social distancing recommendations, there is a drop-off basket outside the south door of Stitches, located at 715 Kelly Mall.

Concerned about a shortage of personal protective supplies during the COVID-19 situation, Ayers approached Connor recently about making some protective masks.

Conner donated the fabric, and dozens of local sewing groups and individuals went to work, making cloth masks for Chautauqua, Floyd County Medical Center, Comprehensive Systems and others.

“We’re trying to stay local,” Connor said. “People are still making them.”