Armed with Needle and Thread: Robins Spouses Join Fight against COVID-19
Monday, April 20th, 2020
During this time of social distancing and increased hygiene, face coverings have become an essential item to wear in the battle against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic.
Using their sewing skills, military spouses and their families at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, are doing their part to manufacture cloth face coverings.
Once the announcement was made that all individuals on government property, installations and facilities are required to wear cloth face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained, the mass production began and thousands of the masks were made.
Brandy Seifert, 605th Test & Evaluation Squadron Det. 2 key spouse said, “The 36 people who are sewing are producing about 875 masks a week.”
Her group, the Robins Mask Makers have produced over 5,000 masks so far.
“As soon as “COVID” was a word, I Googled how to help during this crisis,” said Gwen Mueller, Air Force Reserve Command spouse at Robins. “The ‘million mask challenge’ popped up, and I was all in.”
Face coverings were given to medical and first responders as well as military members and their families. In public areas and work centers, these face coverings help to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
Karen Singleton, 78th Force Support Squadron Non-Appropriated Funds accounting technician and Team Robins spouse, has used her extra time while sheltering in-place to make and donate over 120 face coverings.
In the 1940’s, “Rosie the Riveters” worked on aircraft, tanks and other equipment to support the troops fighting overseas. These modern day “Rosies” are carrying on that tradition to help our military men and women safely carry out their mission.
“Many spouses have stepped up and are using our sewing skills to protect not only our guys at home, but also our members on deployment.” said Heather Lawrence, 330th Combat Training Squadron key spouse.
As the sewing machines across Robins go into full production, much of the fabric and materials is donated by base organizations and out-of- pocket funding.
These Team Robins spouses don’t plan on stopping their support any time soon.
“I’ve sewn over 100 as of April 10, and have another 100 and fabric coming to sew as long as my machines – and sanity – hold,” said Mueller.