Mask Making Takes a Different Spin for EBCI 4-H Youth

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Facemasks

Photo Credit: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images (arstechnica.com)

A month ago 4-H members that are part of our Cultural Presentation Team were learning about Cherokee masks and how mask making can be used to express different Cherokee stories and legends. Now, two Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians 4-H members are making masks for a very different reason: to help others prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Joanna Shipman and Carys Holiday, members of our 4-H Cultural Presentation Team and 4-H Sewing Club, have been using their spare time at home to make face masks for friends and family members in need. Both girls started sewing in two years ago and have become very polished on creating things with a sewing machine.

‘When the COVID-19 virus broke out, I wanted something to do to pass the time. My mother suggested that I make masks for the people around me. Earlier this week when they suggested that everyone wear masks, I went into action’ says Joanna.

Kids in masks

Pictured above from left to right are: Joanna Shipman, Enola Shipman, and Chi Shipman in their face masks made as a service project.

Carys, an 8th-grade student, has been very diligent in making sure her 13 masks she has made were her best effort. Her mother, Karen Holiday, said that making these masks were a great way to keep her busy and helping others.

More facemasks

Pictured above: Ten face masks made by 4-H member, Carys Holiday, to give to family and friends during the COVID-19 crisis.

Joanna, a 5th-grade student, has made 15 masks so far, has enjoyed having something to keep her busy other than schoolwork. These masks have been given to their neighbors and family members to make sure everyone could be protected from coronavirus.

Both Carys and Joanna, as well as our entire 4-H program, would like to encourage people to help others by sewing and make face masks for their friends, family, elders, and local healthcare workers. A great pattern that doesn’t use elastic can be found on the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

When asked about why Joanna took on this project, she said ‘I feel that everyone can jump in and make masks to help the people that cannot make them. It is fun and easy and gives us something to do. If you do not have a sewing machine, you can hand sew them together. Stay safe out there and wear a mask!’

‘I feel that everyone can jump in and make masks to help the people that cannot make them. It is fun and easy and gives us something to do other than watching TV. If you do not have a sewing machine you can hand sew them together. Stay safe out there and wear a mask!’