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Waupaca Foundry

Culture - Jun 17, 2020

IT Programmer and Quilter Makes Masks For Community

Mackenzie Morey | Waupaca Foundry

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Kathy Hargett has been sewing quilts for seven years. She is a Senior Programmer/Analyst IBMi and EDI Developer/Coordinator for Waupaca Foundry. Like many with a knack for sewing, Kathy saw an opportunity to use her talent—and use remnants of quilting material—to give back to the community. “You would be surprised how many scraps of material you end up with when making them, so I had an abundance of fabric and just needed to pick up elastic and wire for the nose piece I would create and sew into the masks so they would fit better."

 


In March, Kathy quickly recognized many nurses and health providers did not have a sufficient supply of PPE, including face masks. “I felt they were risking their lives; the least I could do is find a way to help." She took her passion for quilting and searched for the perfect mask sewing pattern. “I started looking around for masks I could make quickly, and that would hold up to daily sanitation." Hospital workers approve the winning mask pattern. On

 

average, it takes Kathy about 20 minutes to make each mask once the pieces have been cut out. Now, Kathy has made and donated nearly 400 masks. “I tried a couple of different masks and ended up picking one of the harder ones to make, but I felt they would protect the healthcare workers, and they could insert filters for more protection." She set up an assembly line to make masks more efficiently, a nod to lean manufacturing principles.

Kathy has provided masks to ThedaCare Medical Center in Waupaca, ThedaCare Physicians in New London, friends, co-workers, and their families, and grocery store clerks. "I would carry my box of masks in my van and just go get the box and let them choose one." The community is so grateful for her selflessness.
 
"I got more out of it than I put into them.  All the smiles and appreciation from people I would normally never talk to has been heartwarming, to say the least. I am so glad I took the time to make a difference" -Kathy Hargett
#community #safety