Borrowing Sewing Machines, Merrimack Valley Hope Mission Now Has Distributed About 4,000 Masks

Some of the facial coverings created by the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission group of volunteers. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Merrimack Valley Hope Mission has now distributed about 4,000 facial coverings, bringing in donated and borrowed sewing machines to keep up with the demand.

As WHAV reported earlier, Merrimack Valley Hope Mission was busy making them even before Gov. Charlie Baker’s mandate that face masks be worn in public. Appearing yesterday on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” morning program, founder Joseph D’Amore, of Groveland, said his group of “sewing angels” have been busy—and faced some setbacks of their own.

“Some of the sewers have reported that their machines broke down, so about three weeks ago, my partner, Eva Montibello, came up with this great idea to ask for donations of sewing machines. So, I have seven of them available—three of them are on loan right now, two of them have been returned, so it’s been really interesting to see people go into production and continuing that production supported by people that are also donating sewing machines to us. So that’s been helpful,” he said.

And D’Amore says those machines are keeping the project going.

“I do an official count every Sunday. It’s not a count of how many masks are produced. It’s how many have actually been distributed. And we’ve done orders for grocery stores and nursing homes, and the count on Sunday night was 3,792. We’ve got about 28 people sewing for us, and I’ve also had people pick up individual and family orders from my house for about three or four weeks,” D’Amore added.

D’Amore hopes that someday, soon, they will be able to get back to one of their original missions, distributing sandwiches to the homeless on Friday’s at Haverhill’s G.A.R. Park.

There’s more information about the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission on Facebook.

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