WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY 

 As previously reported, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been participating in projects around the globe to help bring relief from the effects of novel coronavirus COVID-19. Members in 57 countries are providing food, and also making and/or delivering masks to be used by health-care workers.

In the Western Treasure Valley, more than a dozen people are participating in the latter, sewing masks for local health-care workers, as well as for their family members.

Renae Corn, who serves as the Ontario Oregon Stake Relief President in the Church, has helped coordinate the local effort. She reports that Saint Alphonsus reached out to the Church for help making up to 10,000 masks to be used throughout the Treasure Valley. 

“I issued an invitation for members of our stake to register with justserve.org; Individuals can use this online website to identify ways they can participate in community service opportunities that can enhance the quality of life in our community and assist the poor and needy,” said Corn.

In the Ontario Oregon stake, Corn names more than a dozen local members who stepped up to help, including Jennifer Wettstein from Ontario and her daughter Kloey, and Pam and Gordon Topham from New Plymouth.

“My best friend out in Atlanta, Georgia had posted a link with a video tutorial originating from Deaconess Hospital, and we decided to get to work,” said Wettstein. “After learning that not all masks were created equal (and that some wouldn’t be sufficient for health-care workers), we decided to initially make them for family, our surrounding neighbors, local store and drive through employees, as well as elderly members of the community.”

Wettstein said that her family made 150 masks their first time around, and with some help with acquiring more materials made 80 more the second time around. 

“We posted what we had in stock to Facebook and had them all distributed in just a couple days’ time. They were bagged with names and laundering instructions, and people were able to pick them up at the roadside,” said Wettstein.

Gordon Topham expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to give back to those on the front lines of the pandemic.

“It has been a rewarding experience to be a part of a project to be  of service to those giving their all,” he said.

Corn points out that JustServe isn’t a mandatory thing for church members to use, but rather a tool that they can use to find ways to help in their community, if they feel so moved to.

“There are many COVID-19 friendly service opportunities that can be accomplished during this time. Interested people were asked, ‘Please see how you can help if you have the inclination to do so.’”

Corn said she chipped in fabric and elastic to help move the project forward.

“I desire to serve my friends, neighbors, and those who are putting themselves at risk by

being on the front lines as medical providers,” said Corn. “May God bless all of us as we serve Him by serving others.”

Wettstein adds that it doesn’t take a lot of experience to try your hand at helping this effort, just the desire to help.

“I encourage those who have some extra time and even the smallest amount of sewing knowledge to give it a try. They are quite fun to make and serving others, even in the smallest way, really does help lift your spirits.”

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