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Wed, May 27

The Call to Help: Seamstress army responds to VVMC’s need for gowns and masks

Gail Basham sews a hospital gown for the Verde Valley Medical Center on her sewing machine in Cottonwood. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Gail Basham sews a hospital gown for the Verde Valley Medical Center on her sewing machine in Cottonwood. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD - In the Spirit of Rosie the Riveter, a group of Cottonwood women are sewing hospital gowns and masks for doctors, nurses and staff at the Verde Valley Medical Center.

The women, armed with their own personal sewing machines, answered the call when they heard the medical center was in need of gowns and masks.

The hospital traced their gown patterns and provided the sewers with cloth material, explained Gail Basham, who was among those sewing gowns in Cottonwood Wednesday. The group is taking donations of 100%-cotton cloth, and it doesn’t have to be white.

They are looking for volunteers to sew, Basham said.

“We’ve never needed to do this before,” she said. “They are not incredibly difficult to make, except there are lot of steps to them.”

There about 15 homes in Cottonwood where women are sewing the gowns.

They are not professionals. “We have just done a lot of sewing in our lives,” she said. “The group is just a group of women who answered the call to help.”

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Penny Mullen is one of more than a dozen women sewing gowns and masks for the Verde Valley Medical Center on her sewing machine. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Basham said she saw a post on Facebook that someone was making masks for the hospital and “the hospital wanted 1,000 masks. About two days went by, then they said they needed 1,000 gowns. Now they are saying they want 2,000 gowns.”

She said she didn’t know how many they can produce because they have just started. The gowns will be washed and sterilized by the hospital.

“We are providing the manpower, or womanpower, so we are going to keep going until they say they have enough.”

The group needs more volunteers to sew and people can go to Facebook at Verde Sews to find out how join the project, she said. Even if you can’t sew, Basham said they can find something for you to do.

“We do a whole lot of one part, and then we go to the next part, or we send it to another seamstress who does the next part,” Basham explained of the group’s assembly line process.

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