Sewing hope: Wareham woman crafts masks for healthcare workers

Apr 2, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, many hospitals and health care organizations are facing major shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE, like gloves, masks, and face shields. And so, a Wareham woman decided to step up to help those in need by making masks at home. 

Cynthia Vaccaro Hicks hadn’t used her sewing machine in 20 years. She gave major props to her home economics teachers, who taught her years ago. 

Still, she said she wanted to try sewing masks because “you feel so helpless. This is the one thing you can do to help, other than stay home.”

She observed how the attitude toward handmade masks changed drastically from two weeks ago, when they were mocked online to now when they are much-requested. 

Still, the rapid progression sometimes makes her head spin.

“If someone had told me two weeks ago I would be sewing masks, I would have thought they were crazy,” Hicks said.  

She started off with a few samples, and once she got the technique down, she said she got a little carried away sewing for hours on end and didn’t eat one day. 

She has sewn dozens and dozens of masks, all of which have been donated locally.

She called the project “emotionally rewarding because of the possibility that it helps someone.” Hicks even said it was “one of the most rewarding things in my life, other than having kids.”  

She also feels the project brings her closer to the spirit of her mother in law, who passed away, but used to arrange craft activities for a nursing home. She was the one that had passed the materials on to Hicks and her children.