By Alexis Simmons

“How can you make the world brighter and better for someone today?” This guiding question, often asked of Tecumseh quilt campers, can now be answered in a tremendous way.

Many of our quilt campers have been sewing masks to close the gap between the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and a lack of supply. Healthcare providers and grocery shoppers alike are in need of breathable masks that cover both mouth and nose.

By giving their time and talent to the creation of masks, quilt campers are extending their supportive, inspiring community beyond the walls of the Tecumseh Leadership Center. Each mask adds brightness to the world and to the day of a healthcare worker.

One of our quilt campers Susan is working with a group to make 1,000 masks for their local nursing home. “The first 100 we made went to Mosaic in Pontiac, IL (Mosaic works to foster independent lifestyles for adults with intellectual disabilities). Others have gone to doctors’ offices, relatives, and friends. Now a nursing home is requesting 1,000,” Susan said. “We are working hard to fill this request. We have 350 done so far. Back to sewing!”

These are just some of the masks that Susan has been working on for the last couple of weeks. She incorporates cheery colors and fun patterns in a hope to bring some brightness to the days of healthcare workers.


Some quilt campers, like Kara Nielson and Vicki Miles, partner with local organizations to sew masks or donate through Facebook pages. Vicki spoke to us about the work she is doing. “Sew Loved, local partnering industries, and 750 volunteer home sewers are teaming up to make masks. We have over 75,000 in the pipeline.”

Another quilt camper is a member of the Facebook Group “Sew and Serve: Sewing CDC Compliant Masks for Central Indiana.” Through this group, approximately 6,000 members have donated more than 25,000 masks to healthcare workers in the Indianapolis area.


The quilt camper who sewed these masks works to make about 100 per week. “I’ve made about three batches that went to nurses or nurse practitioners I or my family know. Since then I’ve been donating through the Sew and Serve Facebook group in the Indianapolis area.”

Kara Nielsen made these five masks. Despite having two young kids at home, she strives to sew masks when she can.


Each mask sewn represents an act of kindness. While times are hard and the world looks a little different these days, our quilt campers work tirelessly to support our community with their talents. These campers make the world brighter and better one mask at a time.