Started in March, the Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs’ Mask Project has been ongoing, through the heat of summer and now into fall and winter. Borrego Springs’ masks have been sewn by volunteers in Borrego Springs, Palomar Hospital Volunteer Circle, and as far away as Illinois! Masks are continually gathered and packaged for distribution through our eight town locations.
Residents and visitors alike have welcomed our displays and helped us collect more than $3,000 over the span of the endeavor. This project has been another example of how Soroptimist Ladies take on a challenge and pull through for the girls and women in their community. The masks have helped thousands, and the volunteers who purchase, sew, advertise, and distribute these masks have expressed the rewarding feeling that involvement gives them.
Jean Brugger stops by Graphics You Can Trust to sew for a few hours on occasion. She says she finds it relaxing. Being a quilter, Jean saves every scrap of fabric after she cuts her mask patterns! She recently found a few attractive masculine fabrics she will incorporate into her larger masks now. Now that the heat has finally subsided, we have visitors coming to town, and as popular as motorcycle clubs are, we figure making some larger sizes will help cover our guest-riders. Jean has also supplied quite a few child-sized masks for our Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event at The Mall, where each child chose their own free mask.
As to a quote from Brugger, “I’m only here for a few months while my husband works an assignment with ABSDP, so when I saw the call for volunteers to sew, I was delighted to do my small part to help keep Borrego safe! I’ve been coming here with him for over 25 years and Borrego Springs and the surrounding desert have a very special place in my heart.”
Pammy Sherrill, who works at Desert Pantry Grocery Store, is thankful for the Soroptimist Mask Display. When the pandemic started, customers would sometimes enter the store, having forgotten to bring a mask. Having a counter display offering masks to the public for a small donation, was, and continues to be, a great help keeping staff and customers safe.
Annmarie Tidwell participated in the volunteer sewing effort this summer, borrowing the Soroptimist loaner sewing machine, donated by Soroptimist Anne Wermers. Annmarie created countless two-ply cotton medical-style masks for distribution through our store displays around Borrego Springs.
“It gave me a sense of purpose that I haven’t had since I retired. I felt like I was contributing once again. It felt wonderful,” said Tidwell.
Soroptimists are sincerely grateful to those who have pitched in to make this project a success! We want to keep our beloved residents and visitors safe and are thankful to those who are donating to our mission of providing education scholarships and mentoring to girls and women.