Bangor church making masks for community


BANGOR, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan church is helping its community through the pandemic by giving away handmade masks.

Simpson United Methodist Church in Bangor has given away around 200 masks so far and is working to make more. On Tuesday afternoon, only a few children’s masks remained.

Pastor Mona Joslyn loves to sew and saw making face masks as a way the congregation could get involved in fighting the pandemic.

“I knew that it was a need in our community. We’re not the wealthiest community in the state and I knew people didn’t have the resources to go out and purchase masks even if they were available to purchase,” Joslyn said.

Many members of the church have volunteered to sew masks, which are then clipped to a display for people to pick up at the front door.

The United Methodist Church in Bangor is giving away masks. (April 21, 2020)
The United Methodist Church in Bangor is giving away masks. (April 21, 2020)

“We have people who don’t sew but they’re cutting the squares so that somebody else can sew them,” Joslyn said.

Alice Reissmann is one of the volunteers sewing masks. She wants the effort to inspire more churches to get involved.

“People in other towns now are calling me. ‘Do you have any masks?’ So, I’m hoping other churches are going to step up and will follow suit,” Reissmann said.

Some people in the community have dropped off supplies like the smaller size elastic, used to hold the masks around the ears, which is becoming harder to find.

“You just can’t find the elastic right now,” Reissmann said.

Jean Szczypka is the receptionist for the church and has sewn more than 50 herself.

“It’s really easy to do and there are tons of YouTube videos to show you how to make different designs,” Szczypka said.

Community members have been showing their appreciation by leaving thank you notes in place of the masks.

“We’re not really doing this for any recognition and we’re doing it because we want people to be safe,” Joslyn said.

If you would like to donate mask supplies, you can put it inside the collection bin at the front door or mail them to the address listed below.

Simpson United Methodist Church
507 Joy St.
Bangor, MI 49013

Phone: 269.427.7725

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