This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to your local newspaper.


OTTAWA — The call was put out for medical supplies for health care workers dealing with COVID-19.


Two Ottawa women came through in our nation’s time of need. Carolyn Elder and daughter, Tori Wilson, are using their sewing abilities to make masks and donate them to those in need.


Elder said there are high risk people in the area and health care workers in local facilities in need of masks.


“I looked online and found some videos on how to make them,” Elder said. “I said, ‘How about we do this together?’ We are teaming to make it work. We are hoping to help people with the situation that is going on. If you have any skills at all, you should be using those to help other people.


“At work, we have to be very cautious. We can’t have church right now. Everybody needs to step up.”


Elder has been sewing most of her life.


“I have three daughters and when they were small I made all their clothes,” she said. “I made a wedding dress for one of them. I made my own clothes. It is something I have always done.”


Elder said the masks are easy to make and found a couple of styles online.


“We picked something that we thought would be easy to replicate,” Elder said. “We have made some that have little pockets inside so people can put a filter of some kind inside there to make for an extra layer of protection. We have made some that are strictly masks.”


The duo uses cotton fabric, some of which has been donated. She wanted to use different colors to help add levity to the situation.


“If we get to the point where we all have to wear them, why shouldn’t we wear something that is a little cheerier and kind of brighten the situation,” Elder said. “We tried to get something that was more cheery, not just plain black and white masks.”


The cotton material makes the masks durable and can be reused, Elder said.


The pair made about 70 masks so far and most of them have been used locally. She said a couple of schoolteachers needed protection when students and parents picked up personal belongings.