The Arts Council of Livingston Parish has joined the fight against the novel coronavirus.
ACLP members recently donated hand-sewn face masks to the Denham Springs Police Department, joining a larger community effort to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to first responders and those in need amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mary Felder and Judye Averette, ACLP members, presented the masks to DSPD Chief Shannon Womack. Nancy Firmin created all of the masks that were given to Womack, and another 100 masks were sewn by Gayle Cothell.
For the past six weeks, the Arts Council has served as a drop-off location for people to donate their hand-sewn face masks. So far, distributions of more than 750 masks have been given to area hospitals, clinics, the homeless, and the local police department.
The Arts Council is currently collecting face masks for veterans and others in need.
Averette, who has coordinated the face masks distribution, said she will continue collecting masks each Thursday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the Arts Council building, located at 133 Hummell Street in Denham Springs. The container is located outside to limit face-to-face interaction.
Since quilt groups always have extra fabric on hand, Felder was instrumental in contacting them to begin sewing masks immediately for this mission, Averette said. Through generous donations, the Arts Council has been able to purchase more than 2,000 yards of elastic as well as four cases of hand sanitizer for the homeless.
Along with Averette, Felder, Cothell, and Firmin, those who have donated their time, talents, materials, and financial support include Edith Blair, Cindy Brown, Darlene Brown and family, Cothell, Jackie Covington, Sheila Lay, L. Z. Reeves, Debbie Reynolds, Margaret Severio, Teri Sullivan, and Eva Wales.
According to the Arts Council, masks must be sewn or unopened by the donors. For those wishing to sew their own, the Arts Council uploaded a link that gives people instructions. It can be found at: https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask?fbclid=IwAR0Q2iwdObXS4mNk4BwhB_kxo60NIde4vZ87nyim0MG87QfVrE3XtTz1Bpc&fbclid=IwAR0Q2iwdObXS4mNk4BwhB_kxo60NIde4vZ87nyim0MG87QfVrE3XtTz1Bpc