MERIDEN — The United Way of Meriden and Wallingford recently started a new initiative called “Sew United.”
Julia Pelletier, a United Way intern, came up with the idea to get her agency involved after her grandmother began sewing masks on her own. “Sew United” recruits community members to make non-surgical masks.
“I found out my grandma was doing this for one of her local hospitals, but she was doing this by herself and I was like we can bring that up here,” Pelletier said.
At fist, Pelletier and others contacted community members. Soon, people began reaching out to the United Way, asking how they could participate.
“They’ll contact me or they’ll reach out to Julia about it,” said United Way associate director Diana Reilly.
Two hundred masks have been made in the first two weeks.
“During this time, we have to really look at our community for the love and support...,” Pelletier said. “I think it’s a great way for us to get together to help each other.”
It also gives people a chance to make a difference while they are isolated at home.
“I just think it is really great the United Way is really pushing this forward,” said Leslie Kogut, who volunteered to make masks. “They reached out to me, which was great, because I honestly was just sewing because I had a machine. I’m a hairdresser, I’m out of work right now and I need something to do. I figured I’d pull out my machine and start it up...”
Social media is another way people can learn how they can participate.
“Our Facebook page, we ask people when they see it to please keep sharing it and getting it out there so that everybody that sews has an opportunity to help out,” Reilly said.
Pelletier feels “Sew United” has given people a chance to work together during a crisis.
“This just shows that we are strong enough to get each other through this and that we are here to keep each other safe and healthy,” Pelletier said.