PRICE, Utah (ABC4 News) – In small town Utah, residents are proving that no matter how small their community may be, they can still make a big difference amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In the communities that make up Carbon and Emery Counties, members of the ‘Carbon & Emery Masks & Gowns’ Facebook page have sewn, donated and collected more than 1,000 face masks for local healthcare workers in just ten days.
The donations are led by Misty Birch, Kara Thayn and Angie Fausett, who prior to the coronavirus outbreak only knew of each other but by donating face masks, have become good friends.
“When we started (collecting face masks), we were just using them as backup,” says Fausett who also works as a nurse in the area. “But then the policy changed where every healthcare worker had to be wearing them at all times and so in order for them to not burn through all the surgical masks, this (initiative) met the need for that perfectly.”
The women say there are over 400 members on the Facebook group and that people from all walks of life keep streaming in just wanting to join and help the coronavirus efforts in Emery and Carbon Counties.
“It is an amazing community effort and they are coming in from everywhere,” says Thayn. “I took in 25 masks this morning and I have 20 more waiting to be delivered. It is just amazing. People are really responding.”
As a health care professional, Fausett says that her co-workers are feeling much safer and confident in doing their jobs. She is calling her communities’ efforts a ‘miracle’.
“To me (the masks) are miracles. All the sudden we have a much bigger need than we realize and then we start to panic because everything has been given out,” says Fausett. “But then within 30 or 40 minutes of us realizing our need, we have 40 or 50 masks dropped off to me. It is just such a blessing. Other than a miracle, I don’t know what you would call it. The community has no idea what they are able to do by delivering these things and how many patients and families and health care workers they are protecting.”
Birch, Thayn and Fausett hope that their small community realizes how appreciated and important their labors are. The women also wish their neighbors know how much hope the face masks are giving to the community.
“It gives people hope, it gives people something to do while we are all in our homes…We even have high school kids that are sewing them, junior high kids that are sewing them,” says Birch. “It just gives everyone a little bit of hope in this time.”
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