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Masks donated to students and staff by caring individuals

Marcia Carlton with some of the masks she has made to give away.

Marcia Carlton

Marcia Carlton shows off some of the many masks she has produced during the pandemic

Donna Rose makes the staff masks

Donna Rose works at her sewing machine making the staff masks

Donna Rose is a retired WC employee

Rose, a retired WC staff member, wanted to take care of her school staff.

                                                                       Masks donated to schools by caring individuals

      Some people see a need and try their best to find a solution; rather than complain and worry about themselves. Ladies like Marcia Carlton and Donna Rose fit this description.

      The Wayne County School District has benefitted from their willingness to help others during the on-going pandemic. When there was a reported lack of personal protective equipment, both these ladies got to work making masks to help protect local residents from the spread of COVID-19.

        Donna Rose, a retired special needs assistant at Wayne County Schools, quickly realized she had to take care of her Wayne County School family. Beginning last spring, she started making cloth masks. Her daughter Joni helped by doing the cutting and pressing. She made almost a thousand masks for the community. She lovingly supplied school staff members, food service employees, front office clerks, and bus drivers with her customized masks.

         “Her gesture was very much appreciated,” said Wayne County Schools Health Coordinator Patty Burton. “Donna has greatly contributed to our school district over the years.”

         She was not the only generous mask maker. “We were overwhelmed by a box of 300 handmade masks that Marcia Carlton donated to the school district. She used kid-friendly fabrics to encourage our youngest learners to learn how to wear a mask. The beautiful customized masks were individually packaged in plastic envelopes to keep each mask clean.”

         Carlton told Nurse Burton in a letter, “These masks were made with love and prayers as my sister-in-law battled COVID-19…spending two months in the hospital and 16 days on a ventilator. She is currently home and doing well thanks to God’s great mercy.”

          Carlton added, “Best wishes as the school year begins in this crazy time. Prayers to the students, teachers and parents as they adjust to new schedules, wearing masks, and all the other uncertainties.”

          Carlton has made thousands and thousands of masks that she has given away to health care workers and school children. Her sewing talents have progressed and she has perfected the masks by using elastic (which was hard to find at first) and beads to tighten the straps. She has even saved her scraps and sewed them together to make a quilt top.           

           Nurse Burton delivered the masks to Walker Early Learning Center and Principal Angela Ballinger was excited to distribute the beautifully made masks to kindergartners in each classroom. The children were delighted with the masks as they made the hard decision which one to select – a cartoon character, Cat in the Hat, or a favorite animal.

            “We were very touched by these ladies efforts to take care of us in such a sincere and helpful way,” said Burton. “We are working hard to provide a safe environment for our students each day.”

             Carlton said she did not have any connection to the school district. She and her husband left city life in Ohio and moved to Spann Hill about ten years ago. She had an active travel based career coordinating hotel trade show registrations until that industry came to an abrupt halt at the start of the pandemic. She had been a busy contract worker and felt fortunate to be able to obtain unemployment. She said she was thankful to the government and wanted to return the favor in some way. So, understanding the effects of COVID-19 in her own family, she was inspired to try and help make masks which were somewhat scarce in the early stages.

          She was not a sewer, but had bought a sewing machine for $50 about 15 years ago. She had worked on one stitching project back then for her husband and had not returned to her sewing machine.

          She laughed, “I’ve become a fabric snob, since then.”

          She has made thousands and thousands of masks that she has given away to health care workers and school children. Her sewing talents have progressed and she has perfected the masks by using elastic and beads to tighten the straps. She has even saved her scraps and sewed them together to make a quilt.

           She joins the ranks of several other local folks who have made masks for others. What a great example of giving to others.         

Health Coordinator Patty Burton shared some of the masks that Carlton sent to the kids at Walker Early Learning Center

Health Coordinator Patty Burton shared some of the masks that Carlton sent to the children at Walker Early Learning Center

Kindergarten students excited to pick out their very own masks

Kindergarten students excited to pick out their very own masks in DeShay Dishman's classroom

Kindergarten Instructional Aide checks out a mask a student selected

Kindergarten Instructional Aide Leta Dishman checks out a mask Riley Meredith selected

Principal Angela Ballinger adjusted a kindergarten students' mask

Kindergarten student Bralei Lofton got her pink mask adjusted by Principal Angela Ballinger

Student Charlee Riley put her mask on a stuffed animal

Charlee Riley put her mask on a stuffed animal she was protecting

LaShanda Neal's class gave their new masks a thumbs up

Part of DeShay Dishman's class gave their new masks a thumbs up





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