Harris County Precinct 4 quilters, church groups come together to sew masks for the front lines

Although in-person church services and Harris County Precinct 4 programs continue to be put on hold during the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has not stopped local congregations and community groups from providing aid for those on the frontlines. (Courtesy The MET Church)
Although in-person church services and Harris County Precinct 4 programs continue to be put on hold during the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has not stopped local congregations and community groups from providing aid for those on the frontlines. (Courtesy The MET Church)

Although in-person church services and Harris County Precinct 4 programs continue to be put on hold during the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has not stopped local congregations and community groups from providing aid for those on the frontlines. (Courtesy The MET Church)

Although in-person church services and Harris County Precinct 4 programs continue to be put on hold during the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has not stopped local congregations and community groups from providing aid for those on the front lines.

Over the past month, as face masks have become fewer and farther in between, Precinct 4 sewing and quilting groups that typically meet at Big Stone Lodge and the Mangum-Howell Community Center, as well as volunteers from local churches, have joined forces to make masks for health care providers and first responders in need.

"During Hurricane Harvey, we saw our boating community come together to quickly provide emergency rescue to their neighbors in need," said Cyndi Hill, assistant director of the Precinct 4 Encore!, the precinct's senior program. "In the same manner, our sewing community has come together using the tools of their hobbies."

According to Hill, the first request for masks came on March 23 to which she said the precinct's sewing and quilting classes responded with enthusiasm.

"We estimate 30-40 people working together to share supplies, help cut and prep fabric and assemble masks," Hill said. "Precinct 4 Encore! bus drivers collect these masks and deliver to the organizations in need."


Over the past two weeks, Hill said their volunteers have provided more than 979 masks to entities including the Harris County Fire Marshall's Office, the 911 Call Center, Harris County's mobile COVID-19 testing sites, the Houston Food Bank, CrowdSource Rescue and Precinct 4's temporary Houston Food Bank sorting center.

In addition to these groups, local churches have also partnered with Precinct 4 to provide volunteers to sew masks for Precinct 4 officials to distribute to those in need.

In Spring, Meredith Ridenour, director of ministry operations for Windwood Presbyterian Church, said the church's Prayerful Stitchers and Prayerful Quilters have shifted gears from making prayer shawls and baptism quilts to masks.

"One of the stitchers, her husband is actually the head of the ER at [Willowbrook] Methodist [Hospital], and so several weeks ago when this all started, he had asked for masks just in case they ran out," Ridenour said.

Since then, Ridenour said the stitchers and quilters have formed a Facebook group where they share YouTube videos on mask-making, patterns and other best practices. The group's collective efforts have resulted in approximately 800 masks to be distributed by Precinct 4 officials.

In addition to first responders and health care providers, Ridenour said their masks have been distributed to local nonprofits including the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, Northwest Assistance Ministries, Tomball Assistance Ministries and Cypress Assistance Ministries.

Similarly, Hannah Bush, the kids director for The MET Church in Cypress, said about 30 congregation members have volunteered from their church to make masks for those in need.

"In our first week and a half we were able to make 400-500 masks," Bush said. "And then the precinct has just been able to pick [the masks] up directly from the [volunteers'] homes ... which helps our ladies not have to get out of the house and drive and drop them off somewhere so that's been really great."

Also in Cypress, Copperfield Church has eight volunteers who have made more than 400 masks since March, Communications Director Debbie Gibson said.

"It's the perfect opportunity to help while being quarantined at home during this time," Gibson said. "There is so much we can't do right now, but we can make masks."

Ridenour and Bush said their groups are now switching from making adult masks to making children's masks for the children in Child Protective Services.

"One of the comments [we've received] from one of our ladies who's actually in her eighties was that she just loves the fact that she's able to do something—that she's actually able to help and her skill is actually of an important use for people," Ridenour said.

Hill said the groups plan to continue working together until there is no longer a need for masks and added that volunteers of all experience levels are welcome to join.

To learn more about joining Precinct 4's mask-making efforts, contact Cyndi Hill at chill@hcp4.net or call 281-274-4050. Likewise, Hannah Bush with The MET Church can be contacted at hbush@themet.church, Meredith Ridenour with Windwood Presbyterian Church can be contacted at meredith@windwoodpc.org and Debbie Gibson with Copperfield Church can be contacted at care@copperfieldchurch.com.
By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

Maverick Remodeling and Construction employees use electronic gauges to determine how well a League City house that flooded from bust pipes is drying. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Freeze-damaged homes might qualify for property tax reduction

As of March 31, HCAD said it had only received about 150 applications for the exemption.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Desert Industries opened April 15. (Courtesy Desert Industries)
Deseret Industries thrift store now open on FM 1960 in Cy-Fair

The new store opened last week with clothing, home goods and more.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
How Harris County residents can prepare for hurricane season

After the most active hurricane season on record in 2020, Harris County officials said residents should be prepared for the upcoming season starting June 1.

Phase 1 is designed to hold 667 acre-feet, or roughly 217 million gallons of stormwater, while Phase 2—which is still under design—is expected to hold an additional 600 acre-feet, or 190 million gallons of stormwater, upon completion. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Flood control district completes Phase 1 of Aldine Westfield Stormwater Detention Basin

Phase 1 is designed to hold 667 acre-feet, or roughly 217 million gallons of stormwater, while Phase 2—which is still under design—is expected to hold an additional 600 acre-feet, or 190 million gallons of stormwater, upon completion.

Klein ISD will begin accepting student applications for its new tuition-free virtual school, Klein Virtual Academy, on April 23. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Application process for Klein Virtual Academy to launch April 23; masks could be optional by June 1

The new school will be open to students in fourth to 12th grades who are meeting grade-level readiness standards, have fewer than 10 absences, and are engaged and active learners.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass-vaccination site at NRG Park. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live).
Harris County accepting walk-ins for vaccine at NRG Park

As demand for vaccines has fallen, officials are looking for ways to make them more accessible.

Cy-Fair ISD's mask mandate is set to end June 7. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
End in sight for Cy-Fair ISD's mask mandate, future of virtual learning still uncertain

Superintendent Mark Henry released a statement about the future of the district's mask mandate and virtual learning option.

More COVID-19 cases were confirmed last week in Cy-Fair ISD. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
78 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Cy-Fair ISD schools April 12-18

The district saw about a 9% decrease in new cases confirmed over the previous week.

The project will add dual left-turn lanes at Cutten Road, Breton Ridge Street and the Willowbrook Mall entrances as well as lengthen all turning lanes on FM 1960 between Centerfield Drive and Cutten Road to provide additional space for vehicles. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Construction on Willowbrook-area FM 1960 improvement project delayed for third time

Construction on the project is now expected to begin in December 2021 and will take roughly 28 months to complete.