Dane Kaiser borrowed a sewing machine and started sewing face covering masks at his kitchen table. Submitted Image

FARMINGTON — Aimee Degroat, University Store manager at the University of Maine at Farmington, and her partner, Dane Kaiser, were both adjusting to the new normal of self-isolating at home when they discovered a kit to make COVID-19 masks for sale on the Auburn Fabric Warehouse website.
Kaiser ordered a couple of kits even though he hadn’t sewn since eighth-grade Home Economics class. He took a quick refresher on YouTube, borrowed a sewing machine and started sewing at the kitchen table. Though challenging at the start, he completed both kits, with each kit making 25 face covering masks. All that was left was for Degroat and Kaiser to ship them where they are needed most.
“This is truly a labor of love,” said Degroat. “It’s times like this that bring out the very best in people. We want to help people protect themselves, encourage others to be involved, and at the same time, support our local businesses.”
They brought some of the masks to the Rangeley Health Center, Franklin Memorial Hospital, and mailed others to caregivers in the nursing field or relatives with compromised health situations.
“Everyone is so grateful, said Degroat. They appreciate having the supplies they need, but having someone make something because they care about you, is a special comfort.”
Her sister is helping with the effort by purchasing more kits for them to continue to sew and give to those in need.
“As a special thank you, Dane made a mask just for my sister’s little girl, and one for her Doc McStuffins doll, too!” said Degroat.
Anyone interested in the mask kits can find them at https://fabricwarehouse.com/upholstery-fabric/covid-19-mask-kit-25-count-community-project/). Currently, the Fabric Warehouse is not taking orders for the mask kits until they catch up with back orders, but ask that you check in to their website to find out when they will start taking orders again.

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