Honor Credit Union supports local group donating face masks

BERRIEN SPRINGS — One regional credit union is supporting local efforts to provide personal protection equipment for frontline workers.

Honor Credit Union recently supported a local group of volunteers who have come together virtually to sew masks for the community with the donation of a $500 gift card for supplies. Retired nurse Chris VanDenburgh leads a growing virtual group of mask makers through a Facebook group called Making Face Masks Volunteers to help provide masks for healthcare and other frontline workers in Michigan.

The efforts began when VanDenburgh received a message from a nurse who asked if masks could be made for the nurses at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph. VanDenburgh jumped to the occasion and purchased several yards of material and began making the masks that afternoon.

Some of the organizations impacted through the donation of the face masks are Spectrum Health, Area Agency on Aging, Bronson Methodist Hospital, United Way of Southwest Michigan, and the Berrien County Health Department. Together they have donated 3,500 masks so far. These efforts are funded entirely by the volunteers of the group or through any donations received.

VanDenburgh said the response to the Facebook group was overwhelming.

“My phone rang so many times I hardly had time to sew!” he stated. “I was delighted! Some offered to cut materials, others offered to cut and sew, and others offered to donate fabric or asked if they could donate financially.”

Honor Credit Union Talent Development Specialist Sarah Hess is a member of the group and is proud to have the backing of her organization, she said.

“Although most of the volunteers have never met in person, we have been able to communicate and become acquainted with each other through this humble act,” Hess said. “This has been such a rewarding experience for me. I’m so proud of the difference this group has made and to work for an organization that supports me and helps to keep the group growing.”

For more information, search “Making Face Masks Volunteers” on Facebook.

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