NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — With COVID-19 still impacting many front-line workers and masks still in high demand throughout community organizations, the Somerset County 4-H Pins & Needles club knew they could use their skill set to help local first responders. With a focus on sewing, textiles, and creative development, Pins & Needles developed a plan that would both assist their community as well as provide a volunteer opportunity for its members. “I was delighted to work on this project with Pins & Needles. I feel we were able to help the people in our community,” said club member Makenzi Harris.
Through online collaboration spearheaded by club leader Patricia Kestlinger, the Somerset County 4-H Pins & Needles club set forth to plan, design, create, and distribute as many hand-made protective masks as they could manage. Through hard work paired with each member’s strong understanding of sewing, the club was able to make 110 masks. “The face mask project was a fun way to continue sewing during the quarantine, while also helping the community we live in,” said club member Sophia Twitchell.
After the masks were completed, they were distributed among a wide variety of local organizations to help those on the frontlines in our community. To start, 52 masks went directly to St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ to be used for both workers as well as patients after they were discharged.
The remaining 58 masks were given to additional nurses, veterinary students, nursing homes, schools, and any other front-line workers and organizations in need. Through a combined effort between club leaders and members, the Somerset County 4-H Pins & Needles club was able to identify a need in their community and use their skills to help alleviate that need. “I feel we were able to represent the 4-H ideals of community service by contributing to our community on this project. I was proud that we were able to use our skills as a club to help provide necessary supplies for our front-line workers,” said club member Eliza Rothenburger.
The Club and their handiwork was featured in ‘Spotlight New Jersey;’ take a look!
–Calvin Embleton, Rutgers University