Even in the darkest of times, light can still shine. Our communities and our nation are working together to fight this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Two nurses sewed more than 30 Washington Capitals masks for D.C. first responders. I had the chance to speak with Lynn Overmann, who offered to buy and ship Capitals fabric to anyone who could make masks. It was a story that crossed hockey lines, crossed state lines, brought together skills, and ultimately helped each other out when it was needed most.
The story starts in Pennsylvania from McKenzie Miller, a nurse who tweeted a picture of herself wearing a homemade Flyers mask.
— McKenzie Miller (@_McKenzieMiller) March 23, 2020
Lynn, who is a big Capitals fan, wanted to do something for our frontline health care workers, so she took to Twitter and offered to buy and ship Capitals fabric to anyone who could sew masks.
McKenzie was the first person to volunteer to sew. Not only did she admit to being a closet T.J. Oshie fan, but most importantly, McKenzie wanted to help out her fellow nurses. Emergency room nurse and long-time Capitals fan, Sheila, reached out in need of masks. Lynn sent McKenzie fabric (and an Oshie bobblehead) and she sewed 10 masks that were shipped to Sheila in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The story only gets better from there. Lynn heard from Tracy Hathaway, a nurse living in Georgia, who also volunteered to make masks. Her husband and family are major Capitals fans, but Sheila, who is originally from Chicago, is a Blackhawks fan. In addition to the Capitals fabric, Lynn sent her Blackhawks fabric as well.
They used the online “Mask Match” program to find a D.C. area hospital that needed homemade masks. Because the virus is respiratory, Tracy’s masks are being shipped to George Washington University Hospital’s Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Department.
Heather Harget is a teacher in Maryland, who was already taking part in a sewing circle to help provide homemade masks. On Friday, she purchased 3 yards of Capitals fabric and if she matches McKenzie and Tracy, 30-50 additional masks will be generated for medical staff. Lynn mentioned they will most likely use Mask Match to pass the needed items along.
Lynn says the process has “actually been pretty wonderful.” Everyone involved has crossed hockey lines (Flyers and Blackhawks), crossed state lines (Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.), brought together skills, and ultimately helped each other out when it was needed most. According to Sheila, this process has restored her faith in humanity.
“I’ve always believed sports creates a broader community than almost anything else, bringing together people from all walks of life they may otherwise have nothing in common, Lynn said. “This accidental project reinforced that theory in all the best ways.”
Amazing! Two nurses sewed 30+ @Capitals masks so DC area first responders can stay safe & stylish. Huge thx to @_McKenzieMiller & @ChooChooTre for their sewing skills & dedication! #masksforall @NHL @NoVa_Caps https://t.co/UHtGQ4EvZO
— Lynn Overmann (@LynnOvermann) April 4, 2020
By Della Young