Hendricks County volunteers joining mass sewing effort to make masks
By Lindsay Doty
Former Danville Chamber of Commerce Director Marcia Lynch isn’t puttering around the house in her retirement. She’s been hard at work at her sewing machine.
“I am working with my two sisters to sew masks and scrub caps for health care workers,” says Lynch.
The sisters learned to sew as little girls from their mother and have embraced the hobby, along with quilting, for years. They’ve also accumulated a solid stash of fabric and have been cranking out hundreds of masks to protect against COVID-19.
“I personally have made between 400-500 and my sisters Carol Varvel and Linda Gilbert and I have collectively made close to 1200 masks (with a little help from two of my granddaughters) made exclusively from our quilting stashes,” explained Lynch, whose husband has been helping as a runner to drop donations.
The majority of the masks have been donated to healthcare workers through Sew and Serve Indy, a large army of sewing volunteers that was started by a woman in Avon. In 3 weeks, the mighty group made and donated 30,000 CDC-compliant masks to healthcare workers across the county and state and continue to keep up with growing demands.
“It is so much better to sew the masks than to sit around and worry about today and the future,” said Lynch, one of the 6,000-plus volunteers in the group.
“It feels great to be able to do something to help protect our incredible healthcare workers. It is especially comforting to know that we have helped some people we know and care for in this time of need.”
In Avon, local realtor Robin Pickett has also joined the Sew and Serve effort at a friend’s suggestion.
“I saw a need and pulled out my machine. The group provided all the patterns and motivation,” said Pickett.
Her niece, along with friends through Avon schools, are helping with fabric cuts and ironing. It’s a group effort but done separately.
“Everything is porch pick up and drop off.”
Earlier this month, Pickett’s mother, a senior who has recently come home from assisted living because of her group home being at a higher risk, has reignited her sewing skills.
“It had been years since she taught me to sew and awhile since she’s been able to sew, but she has helped by pressing fabric and snipping threads,” says Pickett about her mom.
Like others in Hendricks County, she has family and friends serving the front lines and is thankful to be doing her part through Sew and Serve.
“The leaders of the sewing group are amazing and I am blessed to be a small part of helping,” said Pickett.
To read more about Sew and Serve Indy and the Avon woman behind the massive volunteer effort that’s led to thousands of donations to hospitals across Indiana, check out your next ICON in mailboxes on Friday.
Marcia Lynch, who retired at the end of 2019 as the executive director of the Danville Chamber of Commerce, has been using her time and talents to make masks she is donating to health care workers. (Photo by Eric Pritchett)