“…We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit.”
By Andy Corbley – Mar 24, 2020
In a national emergency, some people’s initial thoughts are to fight over toilet paper. Others, like Good News Network reader Trina Branella, immediately want to leap to the aid of those in the front lines of the crisis.
Trina began constructing and sewing cloth masks for a project in Indiana to help teenage cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Then, wanted to donate more masks to workers at four local chemo centers in New Jersey, spurred on by a friend of hers whose mother has cancer “and right now she’s using a bandana.”
Cloth masks are useful because they keep your hands from touching your nose and mouth (especially out in public where you don’t know if surfaces are clean). They also can contain sneezes and coughs, protecting those around you who may have vulnerable immune systems.
As Trina was running low on fabric and unable to purchase more, she asked around to see if there was anyone willing to donate to a good cause, but had no luck.
She then reached out to Good News Network on Friday, the very same dayGNN received a press release from JOANN fabric Stores announcing that the U.S. company would begin donating materials to anyone looking to sew together masks, gowns, or other essential medical equipment for healthcare workers.
After learning the JOANN Stores were launching the program on March 23, we submitted Trina’s order to the company and they said the supplies would be mailed immediately to her in Somerdale, New Jersey.
Branella was thrilled to hear about the donation program and ordered 5 yards of flannel, and a couple packets of 1/8 inch elastic.
“I just have this warm, little fuzzy going on right now,” she told GNN by phone. “I’m so happy they’re doing something. I love JOANN’s.”
Beyond just donated materials, JOANN is offering “Ship-to-Home” or “Curbside Pickup” options, so customers won’t need to come into the stores.
The chain includes 865 stores across 49 states (find your local store here)—but not all shops may be participating, so telephone the store first.
“The amazing thing about the crafting community is that, especially in difficult times, they are always looking for ways to help,” said Wade Miquelon, President & CEO of JOANN.
All open JOANN locations will serve as collection points, too, so that people sewing in their homes can drop off any items created, which will then be distributed to medical centers to help extend their dwindling supplies.
“We are seeing hospital workers, organizations and individuals coming into our stores for supplies to make these essential items, and our customers are asking us how they can help,” Miquelon added. “So many are spending their time and money to help in this tragic situation, and we want to step in to do our part to protect the amazing people who are helping the communities we serve.”
They say they will also open their classrooms—while adhering to social distancing guidelines—to any who want to help make these essential items. Participating locations will offer sewing machines, materials and guidance to help customers safely make face masks and covers, gowns and other items to donate to America’s hospitals. They have some How-to guides here.
“We have a generous community who can make a big difference as our healthcare system faces this crisis,” Miquelon said. “We’re here to support them, and all who make to give year round. We are all in this together.”
Want A Morning Jolt of Good News?
“We are the World” Blogfest” aims to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Sylvia McGrath, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB comes on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE for more information. You are always welcome to join in!You can find more stories of hope, light, and love on the WATWB Facebook Page. Click HERE to be part of the Light.