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Homemade masks help city's most vulnerable

Fort St. John caremonger Moriah Davidson delivered more than three dozen handmade masks to the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society and Salvation Army last week.
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You can't see it, but Lisa Jewell and Moriah Davidson are smiling underneath the handmade masks Davidson stitched together for the Fort St. John Women's Resource Society, April 24, 2020.

Fort St. John caremonger Moriah Davidson delivered more than three dozen handmade masks to the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society and Salvation Army last week.

“It’s important to support the people who don’t have the ability to support themselves,” Davidson said. “I understand what that feels like, when there’s nowhere to turn and there happens to be someone there to help you.”

Sarah Dickie donated the materials, and Davidson donated her time, sewing machine, and skills. The double-layered cotton masks will be given to the city’s most vulnerable, and Davidson said she made them with comfort in mind and which can be better adjusted than the average face mask.

“How long are you going to wear a mask if they’re not comfortable?” Davidson said. “I have a beautiful community of friends who share my posts, who get the word out to people who know people.”

Demand for PPE amid the coronavirus pandemic is at an all-time high, and even tougher to find for those less fortunate and privileged.

“There’s nowhere else to get it. Everywhere else is so short on PPE as it is, and if we can have extra and we can share it and help our community … then really it’s an effort to keeping everybody safe,” said Lisa Jewell, outreach and housing co-ordinator for the WRS. “A lot of our clients have nowhere to go. They’re out in the community, they’re talking to people, they’re still in groups. It’s a way of life for a lot of people who are experiencing life on the street.”

Social distancing on the streets is difficult, if not impossible, and the vulnerable don’t have access to important items like face masks and other PPE.

“You’re sleeping alone if you’re social distancing," Jewell said. "On the street, rule number one: you sleep in pairs. You don’t sleep by yourself. They don’t have access to things like masks so we do everything we can to make sure that our people on the street are accessing just as much of the health care precautions as everybody else has access to. We can’t do it without people making things and bringing them in.” 

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.