The group, called the Sisters of Charity, formed about 20 years ago at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) in Gig Harbor – many of whom are serving life sentences – make items from donated materials for about 30 different charities.
Reporter Scott Hanson reports that South King Fire & Rescue needed protective gowns for an anticipated surge in coronavirus cases this fall and winter, and the group was happy to help. Not only have they made 700 gowns for South King Fire & Rescue, they also made 300 for the Gig Harbor Fire Department, with 600 more on order.
“I think this project meant so much because it was a call to action and an opportunity for them to be part of their community despite the walls,” said Carrie Hesch, WCCW’s recreation and athletic director. “They are absolutely thrilled to be able to do something for the community and stay busy.”
In one project home improvement giant Lowe’s donated Tyvek, a fabric used in protective gear, and the group used an assembly-line process that allowed workers to keep socially distant; two groups of 15 worked in rotating shifts.
One gown can be made every 13 minutes, depending on the skill level of the seamstress. In two weeks, the first 700 were made. Then came the 300 for Gig Harbor. The group is also making masks for the incarcerated and has produced more than 4,000.
Great job, ladies!
Also, excellent reporting from Scott Hanson. His article is one in a periodic Seattle Times series called Stepping Up, highlighting moments of compassion, duty and community in uncertain times.