The Oxford County Quilty Pleasures Facebook group is still going strong making masks for the public. They have also raised nearly $20,000 for BBBS Oxford and Ingamo Homes.
Since the pandemic started they have made thousands of masks. They started out making them for front line workers and have grown to include making them to the general public. Kathy Killaire started the group with her friend Kelly Cowell. Killaire explains how they were able to make all of these masks at no cost to the public.
"My Mother in Law passed away last year and I inherited a large amount of fabric, so when people ask, how can you do this for free, it is because all of this fabric came from her. Kelly who started this with me also got a lot of fabric donated to her in a similar way. So we were able to make the masks without any costs to us. There is a place in Exeter, when things closed down, they started making ear elastic and not charging and they donated 10,000 feet of ear elastic to us."
Killaire says they didn't charge any money for the masks.
"So when we started off, we really could do it for free but we found people wanted to give, we didn't at that point need fabric but we saw people wanted to give so we thought, ok, let's start helping Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County and when we got $5,000 for BBBS, we thought ok, let's share this and we decided to help Ingamo Homes, which is a home a for abused women and children in Woodstock."
Killaire says she started with a goal to raise $1,000 and to date they are closing in on $20,000 raised with about $15,000 going to BBBS and close to $5,000 for Ingamo Homes. Killaire says the response from the community has been inspirational.
"The amount that people have given, it brings me to tears, sometimes I'll go out, this all non contact and porch pickup, I'll go out and maybe there will be 65 cents in my donation box and that shows me that somebody who can't afford to give is still giving to get a mask and it just brings tears to my eyes, just to see how generous people are at this time and that is what has grown this to almost $20,000."
At one point they had over 40 sewers making masks. Some have decided to take the summer off, however they still have a handful of Quilters going strong. If you need a mask you can reach out on their Facebook Page.