Helping With Project Protect
Forgive me for making a fancy header image. I'm playing with different kinds of image editing software lately, and this banner turned out really pretty, so I decided to keep it for the blog post today. I also dearly loved this project. Thousands of people are participating, and it feels wonderful to contribute. If nothing else, I captured some fun images for posterity to know how much this opportunity meant to me. :)
With all that's been impacted by the pandemic in the world over the last several weeks, I'd felt like I wished there was more I could do to help out. Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health partnered with the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and LDS Charities to purchase medical fabric. They invited volunteers along the Wasatch Front to sew clinical-grade masks for local healthcare workers who are facing a shortage in personal protective equipment. It is a massive project that is still running for a few more weeks, and I had the opportunity last week to pick up a kit with enough material to make 100 masks. I retrieved the kit from the American Fork Deseret Industries, and returned the completed masks on Saturday Morning.
Using thread left over from sewing projects in my high school days that I was happy to put to good use, I pulled out my mother's old sewing machine (which is older than me) and dusted off my skills on how to thread the machine, backstitch, and wind thread on the machine's bobbins. The machine is held together with packing tape in a few places, and the light bulb burnt out while I was using it. And my poor parents had to endure my running the machine at late hours after I'd finished grading things for my university course (they claimed they couldn't hear me from the room next-door, but they were good sports either way).
It felt really good to be able to contribute my time, some thread, and some skills I hadn't used in a while to help make a difference. I spent about nineteen hours on the project...I felt like a bit of a slow worker, ha ha, but I wanted to make sure I was doing a good job (especially since I hadn't touched a sewing machine in years).
I'm also starting a creative vlog (still trying to sort out the details), and I describing my feelings about the project there as well. It's a bit of a corny video, but I decided this was a great opportunity to test out some new recording equipment, GarageBand skills, and video editing software. This also became a joyful exploration in videography for me, and I'm genuinely delighted to express my experience with this service project adventure. If you really really really want to watch me talk about it in video form, you can find the video here:
For friends living in Utah who want to help sew masks, you can find more information at ProjectProtect.health, and sign up at JustServe.org. If you live outside of Utah, you can check out JustServe.org to find local community projects near you.
Finally, and again, a huge thank you to healthcare workers across Utah, across the US, and around the globe. I feel so much love for healthcare workers right now, and I want to express how much I appreciate your efforts and your service to the community. You are true heroes, and it feels wonderful to be able to give back to you in a very small way. We appreciate all you are doing right now to keep us healthy, and we respect your sacrifice and your expertise.