Crossed Hockey Lines, Crossed State Lines, Brought Together Skills, & Helped Each Other Out: How Two Nurses Sewed Over 30 Capitals Masks For D.C. First Responders

2F3337F0-E3A1-432C-9804-859355323DE3Photo: @ChooChooTre

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.

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.”

If you would like to help out of frontline health care workers by sewing homemade masks, please visit their website or check out their Twitter page.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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