QCA sewing community makes thousands of masks for schools

Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A group that spans across the QCA and beyond has made and donated thousands of masks throughout the community. TV6 spoke with one of the group’s volunteers to learn how an effort that started small is now helping thousands, including students, as they head back to school. They’re called the Sewing Angels.

TV6 was there when the group made masks for medical professionals back in March and since then, the effort has grown tremendously with as many as 450 volunteers assisting in the efforts. They’ve also expanded their donation groups.

“We didn’t solicit schools to ask them if they needed masks. We sort’ve did it the same way we did with the hospitals. We put it out there in the community that we’re making masks for schools if folks were interested they had to contact us,” said Shelli Eng, the Sewing Angels Coordinator.

The interest to help was there. Since then, they’ve donated thousands of masks to several school districts in the QCA. Most recently, they donated 8,500 masks to the Moline-Coal Valley School District and they’re still going. They’ve hit a mark of more than 100,000 mask donations during the pandemic.

“We will have made at least 130,000. I don’t have all those numbers tallied up yet but we’re probably well over that,” Eng said. “I will never know for sure how many masks all of our Sewing Angels put into the community because so many of them are just donating, making masks, and just donating all over the place.”

They all help each other out and have participants of all ages assisting in the cause. Eng said while they probably wouldn’t recognize each other on the street, they saw a need that they could fill and so they did. 

“Anybody who could think of a thing that could help us, they just stepped into the light, so they really were angels. All of them. Men and women that have helped us in any way that they could,” she said. “That’s how it happened. It wasn’t anything magical or logistical about it. It just happens.”

Anyone interested in helping sew or donating fabric can reach out to Shelli Eng on Facebook.

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