Employees respond to COVID-19 with sewing machine

By Mackenzie Miller ’21

With the last performing arts series shows cancelled at Goshen College’s Music Center this spring, audio visual operations manager Lauren Glynn was out to find a new project.

Sewing face masks seemed timely.

“The idea came about when my mom started sewing face masks for her place of work,” Glynn said. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew, so this seemed like an opportune moment.”

In one weekend, Glynn studied the process and bought a sewing machine and fabric. Two months later and Glynn estimates she’s sewn nearly 50 face masks, “giving the masks to anyone who asks,” she said. Each face mask takes her about half an hour to complete.

“I can still only do a straight stitch, but it’s getting better,” she said. “I’ve had fun making them. I didn’t think they were good enough quality when I first started sewing, so I only gave them to friends. Since I’ve improved I’ve been putting them in with the rest of the handmade GC mask pool.”

Community members and additional staff members at Goshen College have been sewing masks to be contributed to a larger mask pool.

Lauren Glynn

When Glynn isn’t busy working the college’s audio visual desk, sorting mail for the campus post or serving on the network crew for the Newcomer Center renovation, she’s planning out her evenings and weekends.

“I typically worked a weird schedule, working events, lots of nights and weekends, and overtime,” she said.

This new type of workday feels like a break, “but COVID-19 was not the break anyone wanted or needed,” Glynn said.

Sewing face masks is one way Glynn feels she can help, and she plans to keep doing it.

“I don’t charge for them,” she said. “I’m just happy if they fit some people and are able to provide some type of protective covering. Everyone’s face is different and my style of face mask doesn’t work for everyone so it’s awesome that we have other people making them as well.”