About a week ago Greenfield resident Sylvia “Kaki” Branham noticed a public outcry for masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. So she went to work.
She made her first 15 masks on April 3 and then her son, Greenfield City Councilman Mark Branham, posted a picture of the masks on social media.
“People just went crazy asking for them,” Mark Branham said. “We don’t have an exact count, but we’re pushing 400.”
Mark said that by Wednesday he had delivered more than 200 of the homemade masks, on Thursday he delivered another 100 to Highland District Hospital, and after that he picked up more from masks Chasity Whited and Deborah Sova, two Greenfield women who help his mother.
They call themselves the Greenfield Masketeers.
Mark said the request for masks for Highland District Hospital came from Julie Karnes, a family friend and chief of staff at the hospital.
“She asked if mom could make 100 masks for her, and mom said, ‘yes she could,’” Mark said. “But then she asked for 100 a week.”
Mark said that for the last few days he’s worked until 4 p.m. as the deputy clerk at Highland County Court in Greenfield, then starts picking up and delivering masks.
“It’s all about just trying to help out and do what we can do,” Mark said.
He said his mother lived in Hillsboro for about 30 years, then moved to Greenfield about a year ago. He said his mother makes most of the masks, but the other two women help quite a bit.
“She’s the most giving person you’ll ever meet in your life,” Mark said of his mother.
At first, he said, all of the masks were the same size. But now the trio is making them for men, women, youth and infants, with some that tie and some that have straps to hold them on.
The Masketeers want to keep making masks, but they could use some help, especially since they are getting requests from nursing homes and hospitals for large amounts of masks.
Anyone that would like to help by sewing masks, making a monetary contribution, donating supplies or any other way can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his “Greenfield Daily Times” Facebook page.
“If we got any significant amount of money we would figure out a local charity to give it to,” Mark said. “We can make the masks and deliver them, we just need supplies.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.