Lake Conroe resident puts sewing skills to use making face masks

Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)
Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)

Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)

As Lake Conroe resident Nancy Gehr Garner was growing up, she remembers her mother wearing “perfectly starched hats and uniforms” to her job as a nurse. And sometimes, those uniforms would include fabric masks.



And when the coronavirus began spreading across the country, she decided to use her lifelong skill of sewing to provide face masks to those in need in the Lake Conroe area.



“I started this with just fabric that I had,” Garner said. “I didn’t have to leave my house.”



Garner said she looked online and found the Turban Project, a nonprofit that provides headwear for women facing hair loss due to medical issues, and the Deaconess Project, a national health care service that was running a campaign for handmade face masks. Although the Deaconess campaign quickly met its quota, Garner used the instructions and patterns from both nonprofits to create face masks for local entities.



After running through her own supplies, Garner reached out on her Grand Harbor neighborhood’s Facebook page looking for additional fabric.



“I just started sewing,” Garner said. “And I’m not charging anybody.”



Through word of mouth, Garner said she has been making masks for senior care facilities, fire stations, EMS stations and some hospitals. Although fabric face masks are not used to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they can help mitigate the strain for facilities where masks are in short supply.



For those who want to help, Garner said she has received many fabric donations but is still looking for a good supply of elastic. Those who want to help can contact her at nancy458@gmail.com.



“I’ve got A&M fabric, and I’ve got 'Star Wars' fabric, and I’ve got mustache fabric, and I’ve got 'Duck Dynasty' fabric,” Garner said. “These people who are going to be wearing these masks are going to be adorable, and they’re going to be cheery!”

SHARE THIS STORY
By Andy Li

Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now covers the Conroe Independent School District, Montgomery City Council and transportation.


MOST RECENT

(Kaitlin Schmidt/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I’m trying to stay alive’: Inside the life of an immunocompromised Conroe resident during coronavirus

Susan Brassard said her surgery has been temporarily cancelled because of coronavirus. But the longer she waits, the more worries she gets.

The employees of The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More gather their characters together in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons." (Kate Looney/The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More)
5 recent business stories from the Houston area readers should know

Read updates on how local businesses are reacting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many renters in the Greater Houston area may be faced with struggles paying rent amid the coronavirus outbreak. There are local resources located throughout the region that can help. (Courtesy Pexels)
Struggling to pay April rent? Here are some resources in the Greater Houston area

The deadline for April rent is looming as renters—both in public and private housing—in the Greater Houston area may be struggling financially in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and to provide financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas sees 77% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Texas ranked fifth among states in the U.S. with 275,597 initial claims filed the week ending March 28.

The Lone Star College Small Business Development Center is located in the Lone Star College System Building. (Photo by Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College Small Business Development Center offers free webinar for guidance on business loans

Webinars are available to help small businesses out from the Lone Star College Small Business Development Center.

The employees of The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More gather their characters together in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons." (Kate Looney/The Adventure Begins Comics, Games & More)
Gaming stores create virtual connection during coronavirus outbreak

“They’re family. It’s more of a community than it is a job a lot of the times,” Looney said.

Here is what to know about rent, mortgages and utility bills during the coronavirus. (Courtesy Fotolia)
FAQ: Paying bills in the time of coronavirus

What to know about rent, mortgages and utility bills during the coronavirus

Texas Tribune: Some local elections in Texas moving ahead despite coronavirus spread

A handful of towns and special districts still plan to go ahead with their May 2 votes, arranging polling places despite calls from the president on down directing people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Lake Travis Fire Rescue is one of hundreds of emergency service districts serving millions of Texas residents across the state. Firefighters, EMTs and medical professionals said they are concerned about the availability of personal protective equipment as the coronavirus public health crisis continues. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
First responders, medical professionals across Texas worry about inadequate personal protective equipment supplies

In a survey of emergency service districts across the state, two-thirds of respondents said they were concerned about a shortage of equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves.

Montgomery County ranks No. 9 among the fastest-growing counties in Texas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (Courtesy Flourish)
U.S. Census: Montgomery County ninth-fastest-growing county in Texas

The county’s population grew 3% from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, increasing from 589,770 to 607,391.

Superintendent Curtis Null explained that proms have been canceled, but seniors are still expected to graduate on time. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Conroe ISD lays out changes during extended closure

Superintendent Curtis Null explained that proms have been canceled, but seniors are still expected to graduate on time.