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Prairie Winds is proud to share the story of how our resident, Mary W. made and donated over 500 cloth face masks to local facilities in need. 

When the pandemic first struck and PPE was in short supply across the country, 91 year-old Mary created her own assembly line. Affectionately known as “The Sewing Lady,” she began producing twenty or more masks in a day. The masks were delivered to Carle Hospital, Carle Cancer Center, and various nursing homes in the community, and the demand for masks continued for weeks.

“I stopped counting after 500,” Mary tells us. 

Eventually her supply of elastic ran out and the store shelves were empty. Prairie Winds CNA’s then found and donated giant spools of the necessary materials to keep Mary supplied. She continued providing face masks until the hospitals and other facilities had all the PPE they needed. 

Mary truly went above and beyond, and there’s no telling how many folks were kept safe thanks because of her selfless efforts. 

In addition to sewing, Mary is an avid scrapbooker and also donates crocheted hats and scarves to others in need. She does have to draw a line somewhere, however. 

“I made U of I masks and Cardinals masks. But I’m no Cubs fan!”

Thanks, Mary!