Alton | Volunteers at Calvary Baptist Church started making cloth masks after a church member requested some for her co-workers at a local hospital. After the first batch, other people started asking about them, said Dave Zimmerman, as demand rose and masks became hard to find.
Part of Illinois’ reopening plan requires people to wear face coverings when they’re out in public and social distancing is hard to maintain. Calvary is helping essential workers and others in their community by producing more than 5,100 masks so far.
“It’s been quite a project,” said Zimmerman, a Calvary deacon who’s heading up the project. The church’s team of mask-makers sew at home, and Zimmerman delivers them to businesses, restaurants, and care facilities around town. They also keep some masks in the church lobby, where individuals can drop by and pick one up. Zimmerman estimates 1,500 masks have been given away that way.
The church also has found new ways to reach out to first responders on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. They’ve delivered gift bags to police and fire departments and workers at two local hospitals. Led by Pastor Andre Dobson, Calvary has worked to support local businesses, purchasing gift cards and meals for first responders and on one Friday afternoon, treating 200 of them to ice cream.
The church has long worked to build relationships with first responders, said administrative pastor Rick Patrick. “This is natural extension of ways we look to be supportive of those who are so supportive of us.”
Photo: To care for its community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Calvary Baptist Church in Alton has made thousands of cloth face masks provided goodie bags and meals for first responders. Photo from Facebook