It has been four months since the Covid-19 virus became a part of most of our lives, changing the way we look at things and the way we do things, especially when going to see medical services.
It was in March when the medical community began to fear a shortage of supplies would be imminent. Dr. Barbara Gutshall and some of the administrators began to look at different ideas and solutions for the possible shortage of personal protective equipment. One would be asking the community for help. After word got out about needing gowns and masks, local seamstresses jumped into action to answer the call.
"I can think of at least 50 people who volunteered to help with the cause," said Karen Nollette, an O'Neill resident who does lots of sewing and quilting. Alot of people stepped forward, it was quite overwhelming when the call went out and all those who volunteered to answer the call. Tons of people sewed and some donated fabric. People like Ann Mann,Tammy Myers and Jeanne Crumly helped with not only sewing masks but getting the outline for gowns as well," said Nollette.
Other people involved included Pat Drueke, Deb Nelson, Nancy Woepell, Pat Devall, Kathy Drueke, Kay Breiner, Jo Murray, Donna Benson, Janice Flanders,Sharon Bruegman, Susie Warnke and Loree Boelter. Most of these ladies were known as the Card Club Cutters, with a few extras. These ladies cut material from patterns for gowns and caps for Avera St Anthony’s.
Avera St. Anthony's was not the only entity that benefited from the communities call to action. Ascera Care Hospice as well as West Holt Hospital received donations of the homemade PPE as well.
The groups that helped, made in excess of 260 gowns as well as 300 masks for use in the medical community.
Currently there is not a shortage of PPE but the ladies said they would be ready to answer the call again if needed.