Coronavirus can't thwart sewing group's mission

Nurses at San Antonio's Baptist Hospital has received masks from La Trinidad United Methodist Church's sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza
Nurses at San Antonio's Baptist Hospital has received masks from La Trinidad United Methodist Church's sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza
Healthcare workers at Swedish Hospital in Chicago have received masks from La Trinidad's United Methodist Church's sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza.
Healthcare workers at Swedish Hospital in Chicago have received masks from La Trinidad's United Methodist Church's sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza.
The Sewing for Preemies Group at La Trinidad United Methodist Church is now stitching masks for health care workers.
The Sewing for Preemies Group at La Trinidad United Methodist Church is now stitching masks for health care workers.
Katie Chapa, 8, is part of the sewing group at La Trinidad United Methodist Church sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza.
Katie Chapa, 8, is part of the sewing group at La Trinidad United Methodist Church sewing group. Photo by Valerie Mendoza.

Though #SaferAtHome mandates canceled the sewing ministry’s monthly gatherings at La Trinidad United Methodist Church, the multi-generational group’s sewing machines have never been busier.

The Sewing for Preemies Group canceled its March daylong session where approximately 20 church members were set to meet in the church gym to piece and stitch quilts for premature infants in the University Hospital System in San Antonio, Texas.

Not long after, a nurse contacted the ministry to ask about making masks for a local hospital and the Sewing for Preemies Group members found themselves on a new mission.

“A couple of social media posts about our masks and, like a wildfire, we had numerous requests for masks,” says Valerie Mendoza, co-organizer for the sewing group.

In the past two months, the members, ages 9 to 92, have sewn more than 800 masks from their respective homes. The masks have been donated to nurses, pharmacy techs, hospital care workers, as well as elderly church members at La Trinidad UMC. Packages of masks have been mailed to Chicago Swedish Hospital, Ft. Hood Fire Station, Fort Sam Houston Baptist Hospital the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.

“Sewing masks has been so fulfilling,” Mendoza says. “And with everyone in quarantine, families have become involved, including grandpas!”

A recent request to make surgical scrub caps means that the group is expanding its product line of donated items.

The group donates all of its masks. Donations to the ministry can be made online; please note “Sewing for Preemies” in the memo section. The group also accepts donations of quilting material, thread, sewing machines and other sewing items.

This article was compiled from information provided by La Trinidad United Methodist Church. Crystal Caviness, the UMC.org contact, can be reached by email or by calling 615-742-5138.

This article was published May 6, 2020.