Verna

Verna Smallman, along with fellow Knutsford Women’s Institute members Orell Smallman and Barbara Sweet, recently finished creating 50 masks bound for Island nursing homes. The trio are part of the WI Mask Project, a partnership between the Provincial Women’s Institute and PEI Mask+Aide, a social media group of volunteers devoted to making masks for health care providers and vulnerable community members. Submitted photos

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Members of the Knutsford Women’s Institute recently finished creating 50 masks bound for Island nursing homes.

Verna Smallman, Orell Smallman and Barbara Sweet put their sewing skills to work to create the masks that will be used to help protect vulnerable Islanders from COVID-19.

“The three of us can sew, so we thought we would try and do some,” said Verna Smallman.

The trio are part of the WI Mask Project, a partnership between the Provincial Women’s Institute and PEI Mask+Aide, a social media group of volunteers devoted to making masks for health care providers and vulnerable community members.

The partnership was launched to fulfill a need to make masks for vulnerable community members within the PEI healthcare system and assist with the shortage of personal protective equipment. The two groups are hoping to produce over 500 masks.

The kits to make the masks include directions, stainless steel nose pieces and ear loops, with the women suppling their own fabric.

Ms Smallman’s granddaughter, who lives in Summerside, picked up the kits for the women and will help with the delivery of the completed masks.

This type of moblization by Women’s Institute on the Island is not uncommon in the history of the organization. During the World Wars, Women’s Institute across the province shut down branch activities to knit mittens and socks for soldiers posted overseas.

“I thought I was being very useful to be able to do something that was needed,” said Ms Smallman about making the masks.

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