Fox Valley Lyrical Productions director starts group to help make face masks for doctors, nurses
Solange Sior, artistic director of Fox Valley Lyrical Productions (previously known as Soirée Lyrique), recently created a Facebook group of volunteers interested in making face masks for health care workers. She said she wanted to get involved after reading a Facebook post by Dr. Dorothea Poulos at Elgin Family Physicians.
"We at Elgin Family Physicians are completely out of adult face masks, and we have only a few pediatric face masks ... If you bought a bunch of masks last week or are in the building trades and have a stockpile, please consider giving whatever you can spare. Perhaps you are skilled in sewing and can sew us a few masks," Poulos wrote.
"When I saw her post on Facebook, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to return her support," Sior said, noting Dr. Poulos has served for several years on the board of Elgin Opera and has been a donor for many local arts organizations, including Fox Valley Lyrical Productions. "I gave her a box of 20 construction masks from my fiancé Dirk Dypold's business, Advanced Geothermal, Plumbing and Heating."
The business received the 2020 Top Job Commercial Award from Geothermal Alliance of Illinois and there were extra materials and supplies in his shop, she said.
But those are disposable masks, Sior said, and hospitals go through them quickly. So she embraced the idea of handmade masks to fill the gap.
"I don't sew, not even a button," Sior said. "But I'm pretty good at marketing. So I created a group page on Facebook and inviting people to get involved by joining the group at "Masks Making! A Fox Valley Action Group."
There's information on the page, such as patterns for the masks, exchanges of requests and demands and sharing material. The group is in need of more seamstresses, materials, and especially of quarter-inch elastic.
"It's like the new hot item, like toilet paper," Sior said.
Sior is inviting anyone to join the Facebook group to "get involved and save lives."
Though Elgin Family Physicians announced earlier this week that they are now in good shape for face masks, they may need more surgical or cloth masks in a week or two. They also encourage interested donors to contact their physicians or other people in health care services to see if they are in need.
"There's a lot of demands for these homemade masks and we need people to get involved," Sior said. "Our nurses, doctors and paramedics cannot be going to work without masks. It would be like sending a soldier to war without a weapon."