Staff, residents, community members make masks for Plano senior community

The Legacy Willow Bend staff members wear their homemade masks. (Courtesy The Legacy Willow Bend)
The Legacy Willow Bend staff members wear their homemade masks. (Courtesy The Legacy Willow Bend)

The Legacy Willow Bend staff members wear their homemade masks. (Courtesy The Legacy Willow Bend)

Amanda Robinson and her mother, Cheryl, began working March 20 to help fulfill a need for masks at The Legacy Willow Bend retirement community in Plano.

Robinson serves as the healthcare administrator and manages the skilled nursing portion of the community’s care, which includes assisted- and independent-living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

As the new coronavirus threat became more prominent, the CDC released recommendations to reuse protective equipment, Robinson said, and she began to look for alternatives for masks.

“Personal protective equipment has been near impossible to get enough to protect everybody, and we have over 300 employees—plus, then, the vast amount of residents that we have on campus,” Robinson said.

After finding a mask sewing pattern posted online by an out-of-state hospital, Robinson and her mother adapted the pattern for faster production and added quilt batting to make the masks more dense, she said. The masks can be washed between shifts and be reused.

She and her mother began sewing on their own, but they have now received help from community members, staff members and residents. As of March 25, The Legacy Willow Bend is getting close to having the number of masks they need for their team, she said.

“We’re just trying to protect everybody,” Robinson said.

Once the community amasses a surplus of masks, they will begin giving them out to anyone that needs them, Robinson said. This may include area hospitals as well as the Chai Community Homes for Adults, according to Lisa Vellekamp, sales director with The Legacy Willow Bend.

Local fabric stores, like Med Couture, have donated material for masks, while members of the community, including the Jewish Community Center, have shared posts on social media about the need for volunteers to make and donate to the project, she said.

“We've also had response from family members. Even our members themselves are donating their time, whether they're cutting or sewing the masks as well,” Vellekamp said. “We've had a great response. It's only been a couple of days—it's pretty amazing.”

Robinson said that while they hope the threat of the new coronavirus will allow them to slow down production in the next week or so, they will continue to make masks as needed.

“We'll keep going as long as it's needed because it really has brought us closer to a lot of people in the community,” Robinson said. “There’s a sense of relief for the team members and the families. ... And to be able to give back just a little bit of my time outside of my actual workday is very important to me.”

Those interested in volunteering to sew masks can call 972-468-6236. Materials can be picked up from the center or delivered to within 20 miles of The Legacy Willow Bend at 6101 Ohio Drive, Plano.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


In Denton County, there have been 573 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed since Sept. 15. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: New confirmed cases of coronavirus hold steady in Denton County since mid-September

Denton County health officials have reported 573 new cases since Sept. 15, a slight uptick from the 542 new cases confirmed in the seven reporting days ending Sept. 14. See our interactive charts inside.

One of Tastys’ more than 50 flavors is the dealer’s-choice “Sauce Me” option. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Obsessive focus on flavor the underpinning of Tasty's Chicken in Plano

When Terral “Hollaback” T. Slack moved to the Dallas area three years ago, he said there was something noticeably missing from the fried chicken.

Not-for-profit agencies in Collin County can submit invoices for personal protective equipment to the county for reimbursement. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Collin County to reimburse housing and shelter not-for-profits for some coronavirus costs

Collin County plans to reimburse not-for-profit organizations that provide housing and shelter services for costs they have accrued assisting citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

Main Street Food Hall is expected to open in Frisco in 2021. (Courtesy Bryan Brickman)
Food hall coming to Frisco in 2021 and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Bicyclists in Plano ride along the recently completed Legacy Trail extension. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano builds upon its local and regional trail systems

The city has made progress on a handful of projects, including two that are on the cusp of completion.

Over the past two years of providing overnight shelter, the Salvation Army Plano Overnight Warming Station has been open for close to 2,000 nights and has provided shelter to more than 350 individuals, according to Lieutenant Michael Cain with Salvation Army. (Screenshot via Salvation Army Plano Overnight Warming Station)
Plano Overnight Warming Station approved to take on more capacity more nights of the year

The station received approval to extend its capacity from 100 to 150 people each night, and operators may now choose to open when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Chocolate Rum Cake is among the cakes, cupcakes and cookies that Rum Cakes Factory sells. (Courtesy Rum Cakes Factory)
Rum Cakes Factory brings baked goods to Plano

The bakery sells cakes and cupcakes in flavors such as Amaretto, Grand Marnier and Coconut Rum.

Amaretto Cake is among the cakes, cupcakes and cookies that Rum Cakes Factory sells. (Courtesy Rum Cakes Factory)
Rum Cakes Factory opens in Plano and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the DFW area.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

The upcoming Starbucks location will open along US 380 in Frisco. (Courtesy Starbucks)
New coffee shops in Frisco, Plano plus more popular DFW news

Read popular news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.