VINCENNES, Ind. – The whirring sound of sewing machines can be heard
inside the homes of many Vincennes University employees. Fingers of
all ages and experience levels rush to ‘sew hope’ by making homemade
masks for community members. All in an effort to help curb the spread
pouring in to VU employees and all who are joining in this mission.
“Having a child that falls into the high risk category with a
congenital heart defect we have to take extra precautions to keep him
healthy during this pandemic. Knowing that our community has people
out there like Cassie (Vennard) willing to take time out of her day to
help keep people like Miles safe makes me feel so proud to be a part
of it,” said Mallory Squires of Knox County.
Vincennes University’s homemade face masks are being shared with
families, healthcare workers, retail store and pharmacy employees,
hospitals, government agencies aiding children, and more. We implore
others to join in this effort.
Demand for masks is high as the supply chain has struggled to keep up.
Department Chair for VU’s Agribusiness and Cosmetology programs,
answered a social media request asking for masks. She has assembled a
team of friends and family to make masks for Good Samaritan Hospital
in Vincennes, Ind. She’s sewing masks, collecting donations of
cleaning supplies for cancer patients, and teaching remotely among
other things, but that’s not stopping her from doing all she can to
help in a time of need.
“Part of the reason that we’re on this earth is to help others,” she said.
didn’t even own a sewing machine and hadn’t used one since middle
school when she was asked to help. She had simply been asked to donate
materials. However, she wanted to do more.
She used a donated sewing machine to create masks before ordering a
new one, and has since produced more than 145 masks with the help of
her children and husband, Jonathan Vennard, an instructor in VU’s
Advanced CNC and Programming program.
The family’s first donations went to the Knox County Department of
Child Services and a nursing home facility in Odon, Ind. She’s
currently making masks for first responders and Good Samaritan Hospital.
“I wanted to help people in our community and it’s really easy to put
these masks together," she said. “Orders are flowing in from
grocery store workers and factory workers that work at facilities that
have been deemed essential business. I’ll keep helping until I can’t
anymore or run out of fabric. These are unprecedented times and
creating this workflow at my kitchen table that is helping people and
giving them a sense of security is in turn helping me cope with my own
feelings about being quarantined at home with my family.”
Karen O’Connor is doing her part, while also practicing social
distancing. The VU Pharmacy Technology Program Chair and Instructor
has made about 50 masks. She is repurposing never-worn scrubs into
masks that are double layered and washable. Once a mask is complete,
it is washed and sanitized before being delivered.
“The community is coming together as a team,” O’Connor said. “People
have tapped into their resources and said, ‘Who can sew? and What can
we do?’ We’re all a community. It’s a network of here is what they
need and who do we have to do it.” “I can fill a pharmacy order a day.
You have to cut the pattern, sew them all together, sterilize them,
and deliver them.”
Join the VU family in the fight against the coronavirus. Use your
needles and threads, and help others at the same time. Instructions
how to make masks, including patterns, can also be found courtesy of
The Turban Project at https://turbanproject.com/face-masks-pdfs
Want to help?
Deaconess Women’s Hospital in Evansville, Ind. has been overwhelmed
by the outpouring of support and kindness from the community, country,
and world. It is one of many hospitals asking for face masks. Get
instructions at https://buttoncounter.com/2018/01/14/facemask-a-picture-tutorial/?fbclid=IwAR0mhqBeR9N_A2I2D0Y2Q5_UXcq7x-kAEhIDVhaM6vZOxzT2A22uiurj9x8
Family rooms are being transformed into sewing workshops and people
are sharing fabric and patterns. While we may be apart physically we
are together in a unified mission to help others. The VU community
applauds and encourages this community effort.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. VU offers online degrees and classes to
students who need access to college courses and flexibility through
its Distance Education.
A leader in dual credit and career and technical education statewide,
VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom