I hope you are safe and well. I want to start this email by sharing one of the many examples of how our community has come together to help and support one another through the COVID-19 crisis—even when we must do so at a distance.
A few weeks ago, we saw a post on Facebook from a volunteer at a senior living facility in our district stating that they were in urgent need of masks. While the facility’s personal protective equipment needs for medical staff were filled through the county, my staff and I contacted the facility and learned that they needed 500 cloth masks for residents, volunteers, and non-medical staff.
My outreach events coordinator, Sarah Heil, immediately began mobilizing volunteers to fill the facility’s request, as well as calling other organizations in the district to determine who else may be in need. Sarah connected with the Chester County chapter of Sew for PA, a group formed in recent weeks to sew face masks for essential workers.
Sew for PA quickly filled the order for 500 masks and now has 200 more in the queue to be delivered to the East Brandywine Fire Company. In the meantime, Sarah recruited 12 volunteers from the Coldstream Crossing Retirement Community, who have sewn and donated more than 500 masks so far to facilities in the 155th legislative district. An additional 10 individual mask makers have each contributed between five to 104 masks.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for these volunteers! In just four weeks, the volunteer teams and individuals that Sarah reached out to have sewn and donated well over 1,000 masks to seniors, caregivers, frontline workers, and first responders in our district, plus hundreds more for facilities and individuals elsewhere in Chester County.
Through this coordinated effort, masks have been donated to Freedom Village in West Brandywine Township; Exton Senior Living in Uwchlan Township; Meridian at Eagleview in Uwchlan Township; French Creek Manor in Phoenixville; Spring Mill Senior Living in East Pikeland Township; Miss Kitty’s Care, LLC in East Pikeland, Phoenixville, and Spring City; The Spirit of Gheel in West Vincent Township and Spring City; Steel Town Village, Bard Complex, and Flag House in Phoenixville and Spring City; Kimberton Fire Company in East Pikeland Township; Lionville Fire Company in Uwchlan Township; and Liberty Steam Fire Company and the Spring City Food Pantry in Spring City.
Our incredible volunteers are still working, with several hundred more masks on the way to East Brandywine Fire Company, and to King Terrace, Fairview Village, and St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter in Phoenixville.
Thank you to everyone who has helped provide masks to protect seniors, workers, and first responders. I am so inspired by our active and caring community. You are what makes the 155th legislative district an incredibly special place to live and serve!
Rep. Danielle Friel Otten