Jennifer Asante-Wiredu figures that when sassy, strong-minded women have an idea, it’s best to get out of their way.
Those who know Mary Vinson and Nancy Burks Worcester would likely place them in both of those categories.
When Vinson and Burks Worcester determined that they would rally local volunteers to sew desperately needed masks for medical personnel who are on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic, Asante-Wiredu offered to help organize the effort.
On Sunday, she created the “Masks for Granbury” Facebook page. By press time Tuesday morning, the Facebook group had more than 260 members.
Asante-Wiredu drove to Fort Worth on Monday and picked up fabric donated by JOANN Fabrics and Crafts.
She lined up locations where volunteers can pick up supplies – Here’s To You boutique (440 E. Pearl St.), Bee Healthy Nutrition Center (Granbury Lakeside Center shopping center, 1450 E. US Hwy. 377) and Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (3601 Fall Creek Hwy.).
Although volunteers can pick up supplies there, they are asked not to leave completed masks there. The items are in high demand all across the nation, and Asante-Wiredu wants to make sure the masks that are sewn here remain here for use by medical personnel and first responders.
She will arrange to have masks picked up.
“I had people begging to buy them from us and I basically had to say, ‘I’m so sorry,’” Asante-Wiredu said. The masks will not be sold to the highest bidder. In fact, they won’t be sold at all.
“We live in Granbury and it’s going to be a Granbury nurse, Granbury doctors and Granbury first responders taking care of us if, God forbid, we get sick,” Asante-Wiredu said. She also feels that grocery store employees should be wearing masks.
Asante-Wiredu said that ladies in Pecan Plantation are busy sewing and she believes that members of Stonewater are sewing masks as well.
John Knox, preaching minister for Granbury Church of Christ, said members there are also aiding in the effort.
Lest anyone think that sewing is woman’s work, Ray Stanfield proves them wrong. He stepped up to operate a sewing machine in his wife Janie’s “sweat shop.”
Some volunteers are adding their own personal touches to the protective masks. Vinson said she is sewing hers with a pocket so that those on the front lines will have “the option of inserting extra layers of tissue or some kind of filter for extra precautions.”
Asante-Wiredu said that she is simply “navigating” for the many volunteers who are helping their community in a time of crisis.
“Nancy and Mary and all these people, they’re the superstars,” she said.
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‘We live in Granbury and it’s going to be a Granbury nurse, Granbury doctors and Granbury first responders taking care of us if, God forbid, we get sick.’