In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting the week of March 23, 2020 the Walnut Rotary Club (under the direction of Debbie Quinn), the Princeton Rotary Club (under the direction of Laura Kann), and the quilting network of Terry Johnson (a local Princeton woman) came together to implement a simple, reusable mask sewing project for health care workers, visitors to health care facilities, nursing homes, and first responders in the greater Princeton and Walnut communities.  Along the way, In-Home Care and the Bureau, Putnam and Marshall County Health Departments provided invaluable support including resources and access to a Facebook page to spread the word about the project and recruit sewers and Perry Memorial Hospital provided a pattern and guidance about the type of masks needed. (click read more below)

More than 50 generous and talented volunteers kindly came forward and got to work at computers, kitchen tables, and sewing machines to make calls, organize friends, source materials, wash and iron fabric, cut fabric and elastic, assemble sewing kits, deliver and pick-up supplies, and sew, sew, sew.  Rotarians stepped up to provide resources, help with logistics, and sew masks.  

By April 10, 2020 more than 1600 masks had been produced and delivered to the following groups:

  • Perry Memorial Hospital - more than 1,000 adult masks and more than 100 children masks
  • In-Home Care -140 adult masks
  • OSF Mendota -140 adult masks
  • Heritage Health (Walnut) – 39 adult masks
  • Perry (Walnut) Clinic – 12 adult masks
  • Liberty Village (Princeton) - 130 adult masks
  • Bureau County Sheriff’s Department – 40 adult masks
  • Bureau Valley Schools -14 adult masks
  • Assorted smaller groups and at-risk individuals – more than 40 adult masks

The organizers of the group (Debbie Quinn, Laura Kann, and Terry Johnson) are grateful for the incredible support and generosity of their communities that allowed this project to be so successful.