Perimeter College faculty and staff have been busy on the sidelines helping to support health care workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients. The following represent some of their efforts:
Dr. Ursula Thomas has been spending time at her sewing machine. Since mid-March, Thomas has made more than 300 masks (and cut cloth for 700 more) that have been distributed to health care and other essential workers. Thomas, who is Perimeter College’s online associate chair of cultural and behavioral sciences, said she learned to sew from her grandmother, who taught commercial sewing, alterations and tailoring at a technical college in Montgomery, Ala. Thomas and fellow “sew sister” Kaija Brinson, who works as a business affairs coordinator for Math, Computer Science and Engineering, are part of the longtime sewing group, Atlanta Sewing Style. They are working now on providing masks for MARTA employees. “I am proud to use the gift of sewing to help others,” said Brinson.
Beth Wallace also is bringing her sewing skills to help frontline workers. She has commandeered the colorful fabric she has kept for her quilt projects to use for cloth masks. To date, the Perimeter College faculty associate for the Office of International Initiatives has sewed and donated more than 100 masks. Wallace belongs to a COVID-19 sewing mask group, Intown Sewers, that sprang up in response to the need for more personal protective equipment for health care workers during the pandemic.
When Perimeter nursing instructor Marie LePage’s physician told her she couldn’t work her normal job in Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s emergency department because of her own health issues, LePage felt she needed to do something to support her hospital colleagues on the COVID-19 front lines. “I felt so helpless,” she said. LePage sent out a message on her Peachtree City neighborhood Facebook page: Would anyone like to show support for health care workers by participating in a car prayer chain? She urged neighbors to drive to the parking lots at Piedmont Fayette and Piedmont Newnan hospitals and show their support with signs, prayer and blinking car lights. The response was overwhelming, said LePage. More than 100 people came out in their cars to the hospitals that weekend to show their support. The event was spotlighted on CNN.