Roz Weitzman generously donated 50 non-medical masks that she sewed to the Bernard Betel Centre for our Meals on Wheels volunteers and for veterans. Roz shared her story and inspiration to make the masks, and why she decided to donate some to the Bernard Betel Centre:
“Early in my lock down, which began in mid-March after my return from Thailand, I put away my sketching and painting and my cookbook writing in favour of one of my other passions, sewing, after watching a news report about sewing groups making non-medical face masks for the benefit of our society. I felt I could do my part too.
“After searching the internet, I found a different pattern, not the norm of what others were sewing, mainly because my sewing machine from the 70’s wasn’t able handle the many pleats of that usual surgical-style mask. Then, in addition to a donation from a friend to buy fabric online, I reached out to a Toronto-based group www.sewforTO.ca for the fabric and supplies that all of the sudden were nowhere to be found during the lock down. In a very short time, I realized my desire to be involved with this amazing, dedicated, smart, knowledgeable and articulate group who were spearheading this community-minded cause in Toronto to make it safer for people at high risk. I became a volunteer, monitoring social media and requests for more information.
“My sewing was at a snail’s pace but I was undeterred. Very quickly the pile of masks started growing and after a couple of Facebook posts with photos of them all lined up, close friends and relatives in my immediate neighbourhood of Thornhill/Richmond Hill/Markham began asking if I could help them. Having people I know well coming to pick up masks became the highlight of my days. Of course with social distancing and ‘porch’ pickups, we all felt safe and these because visits offered a time to chat a bit and catch up.
“When the piles grew again, I wanted to find a bigger organization and I reached out to Bernard Betel Centre because of the e-newsletters I get each month. I sent an offer to donate masks to Betel and sure enough, there was a need for masks for Meals On Wheels volunteers and for a mask to be put into the gift bags for veterans in celebration of May 9th, Victory Day. My heart is proud that I could make these lovely senior’s days a little easier to handle in the lock down by having a mask to go out for groceries and feel a little bit safer…and the rest, as they say, is history!”
Thank you Roz for your generous donation! They will be well used by our Meals on Wheels volunteers and veterans in the community.