By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– With a shortage of surgical masks across the United States because of the coronavirus, Victor Valley College staff and faculty have stepped up to help supply local hospitals with personal protective equipment (PPE).
Along with nearly 6,000 N95 masks donated by the college’s Emergency Medical Services Department, more than 200 reusable cloth masks have been sewn by VVC instructors and students. The donations are benefiting Desert Valley Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center and Victor Valley Global Medical Center.
“We recognize the valuable partnerships that our local hospitals provide for our emergency medical technician and paramedic students each semester,” said Dave Oleson, program director and department chair of VVC’s Emergency Medical Services. “Providing these masks at a time when they are in such high demand and infrequent availability is just one small way we can repay the time and effort that the nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists and allied health professionals at these three facilities give to our students during their internships.”
Meanwhile, VVC Athletic Director Jaye Tashima and Athletic Trainer Amy Wilkin are sewing additional reusable masks to donate.
“While we staff the food pantry for VVC, we are sewing masks for our alumni from the nursing program who are working on the frontlines,” Wilkin said.
Although VVC’s home economics classes have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the women who were enrolled in the machine quilting classes have also been busy sewing masks under the direction of instructor Pat Adams, who has been teaching at VVC since 1984.
Adams and her husband, VVC Alumni Hall of Fame member Larry Adams, were both part of the second graduating class of VVC in 1963.
Adams said she is proud of the women in her quilting classes for offering their time and services to support the cause. After a few of her students made masks and gave them to a friend of theirs who is a nurse at St. Mary, their friend’s supervisor requested 100 additional masks.
An email was sent out to the five quilting classes with a face mask pattern. About a week later, all those who contributed met Adams in a large parking lot to safely transfer the masks to her.
“One by one the ladies dropped off their donations into the trunk of my car,” Adams said.
The grand total was 185 masks.
“This is a wonderful group of women that are very dear to my heart,” said Interim Dean of Humanities, Arts & Social Science (HASS) Jacqueline Augustine. “Their stitches in time and love that they give back to the community are a true reflection of the caring people here at VVC.”