Bridges Newsletter


LINCOLN, RI – Dina Mission Center

It all started with Covid 19 and the request by the governor of Rhode Island to wear a mask in public. We quickly realized that the paper version we had received at the last doctor’s appointment would not survive a week. This realization led us to the trusty Internet —source of all useful information. There we discovered sewing patterns for face masks that met the governor’s recommendations.

Fortunately, Ocean State Job Lot (a local store that buys closeouts and then re-sells merchandise at a great discount) advertised free fabric for anyone wishing to make face masks. That was all the incentive we needed. Actually, the “fabric” is table napkins and comes in a variety of colors.

My niece and her family were in dire need of masks, so we began our production; however, we ran into a major obstacle. All the area stores had no elastic for the ear pieces. Not to worry – there was always Amazon. The order placed on April 21 should arrive in 3-4 days. Not so! By May 1st we discovered that our precious elastic was coming from the garment district in New York and was somewhere in Muncie, NY. It never arrived. Amazon failed us!

Necessity is the mother of invention. We looked around to see if there was anything we could use. In desperation, we raided a bag of clothing destined for Good Will. There we discovered a top that had just the right elasticity, and so we began to manufacture ear loops.

Since our initial production, we have sent out some of our finished products to members of our JM family who appear to be satisfied customers. This led us to expand our production and make another visit to Job Lot for additional fabric. We also experienced the answer to our prayers when we discovered elastic used for pony tails. Our masks now have an even added attraction—fashionable ties.

Hopefully, this pandemic will abate and we can all discard the masks and smile once again at each other!

– Srs. Jacqueline Crepeau, RJM (above) and Mary Crepeau, RJM (below)

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