BENSON — Kitchen tables, casitas and sheds have been converted to sewing areas at Cochise Terrace RV Resort in Benson, where 25 women are making face masks.
“We’re the WWW Ladies, a group of women in this park who get together to foster creativity and camaraderie through a number of community service projects,” said Cate Dugan who, along with her friend Lynette Dix Brimmer, coordinated the face mask production project.
“Before coronavirus really exploded, we intended to get together and do this as a group project in the RV park’s big community room. But that changed because of social distancing, so all of us are working on the masks individually.”
The project started on March 20 and to date, the women have produced 1,350 face masks. They plan to continue production for as long as the masks are needed and supplies are available.
“We were amazed by the response we received when we announced the idea,” said Brimmer, who is credited as the project’s brainchild. “When people in the park found out what we wanted to do, there was an outpouring of support. Some donated money to help purchase supplies and others offered to work on the masks.”
Not all of the women participating in the project know how to sew, but offered to help in other ways, Brimmer said.
“Depending on the person’s sewing experience, some of our masks aren’t as perfect as others, but we strive for protection, not perfection,” Dugansaid. “For women don’t sew, but want to be part of the project, we have cutters and kit assemblers.”
Supplies for the kits include quality material, elastic, wire and interfacing, which is a non-woven material that is sewn into the masks as a filter.
“The interfacing has become difficult to find because so many people all over the country are making face masks,” Dugan said. “At the time we started doing this, we had no idea the project would evolve into such a mass production. It’s exciting to see how it took off.”
Some of the organizations and individuals that have received face masks include the Benson Community Hospital, Chiricahua Community Health Center (CCHCI) in Benson, the Chamber of Commerce; Benson Post Office; Samaritan Nursing Home and CT RV Resort residents.
Along with the face mask project, the RV resort’s WWW Ladies group painted 300 rocks for the Benson Chamber of Commerce which will be distributed at an event on June 27 honoring Vietnam War veterans when the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be in town. The chamber’s goal is to have 3,000 painted rocks to distribute for that event.
“The CT RV Resort is very supportive of different events, and we appreciate the wonderful contributions they provide the community,” said Najayyah Many Horses, who represents the Benson chamber. “We’ve also received 40 beautifully sewn face masks from the resort’s ladies, which we’ve been distributing. We appreciate all they do for us.”