PITTSBURGH – When a crisis hits, many people want to help but aren’t sure what to do. Carlow University’s Campus Ministry is trying to channel that attitude constructively during the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging faculty and staff to prepare for a return to campus by sewing masks for the community.
The “Mercy Mask Mob,” a newly formed virtual community, is set to make 350 face masks that will be used when the Carlow community returns to campus.
“We decided to provide an opportunity for people with a talent for sewing to serve while they are at home,” said Siobhan DeWitt, director of Campus Ministry. “We thought this was a great way to enlist many people and get them involved.”
DeWitt says Campus Ministry will provide easy patterns that can be used whether a person sews with a machine or just by hand. Donations of fabric scraps (6”x9” minimum) are also being accepted.
“You can’t separate the mental, physical, educational and spiritual parts of a person. All parts must by embraced,” said DeWitt when asked why Campus Ministry and the Center for Mercy Heritage and Service would be involved with this. “The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are inclusive of each other. Our physical needs of safety need to be met if we are going to create an atmosphere of welcome on our campus.”
Dewitt says that there’s also an aesthetic reason for creating handmade masks – everyone won’t need to wear a plain clinical mask around campus, which will create a more welcoming environment, too. Aesthetics aside, however, there is a deeper reason to participate.
“Our Catholic Christian Faith and Catholic Social Justice require that we help when and how we can, based on our resources,” she said.
If you have a sewing machine or like to hand sew, and would like to help, email Campus Ministry.