Local groups step up to help during pandemic

Local nurses wear some of the masks created by GFWC Viera Woman's Club members.

Two local groups took action to fill a need by making cloth face masks to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs- Viera Woman’s Club have kept busy using their sewing  skills to make cloth masks and dispense them to the Health First Distribution Center and to nurses, who were happy to receive them.

Some face masks also were distributed to friends, family and neighbors.

The Abigail Wright Chamberlin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) also has been making face mask and ear protector headbands, ensuring support for Melbourne’s residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

"While we are each doing our part to slow the spread of the virus by staying at home, the DAR members in our chapter wanted to do more to give back to our neighbors," said Cathy Jaskiewicz, the regent of the Abigail Wright Chamberlin Chapter. "We know these are tough times for everyone and we wanted to do whatever we could to spread a little sunshine and help take care of our community." 

To date, the DAR chapter’s donations have been 346 face masks and 30 ear protector headbands, which have taken more than 225 hours collectively to make.  Masks and headbands have been distributed to friends, neighbors, Crossnore, a DAR-supported school, Children’s Home, Orlando Health, Advent of Orlando and several cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Nationwide, DAR chapters from all 50 states have been participating in the organization’s Service to America From Home initiative by supporting a variety of efforts in local communities, including creating care packages for essential workers, providing food to those with diminished resources and responding to the medical mask shortage by hand sewing masks to donate to medical facilities in need. 

More than 262,449 masks and 11,669 PPE have been donated by DAR members across the country and thousands more are produced every day to be distributed in local communities.

"I am exceptionally proud of what our DAR members are accomplishing as part of a proud tradition of service that dates to our 1890 founding," said Denise Doring VanBuren, the DAR president general. "In difficult times like these, we know that it is not the emergency that defines us, but how we respond to it."

For DAR membership inquiries and other questions about the Abigail Wright Chamberlin Chapter, contact Michelle Abbey at imafldar@gmail.com. To learn more about DAR, go to dar.org