Sarah Ellen Phillips

When residents of Randolph County have a need you can always depend on other residents to step up and help. That's exactly what Sarah Ellen Phillips has done.

Since the start of the pandemic months ago, Mrs. Phillips has spent her spare time sewing and making protective masks for those who need them in the county. In fact she has made more than 500 to date. "I got started making the masks when the virus started, and I just found it a way to pass my time. My regular hobby is playing bridge, and of course you can't play bridge right now. My daughter saw a video on You Tube of how to make the masks, and I just followed the easy instructions."

The sewing of the masks came naturally since she spent more than 25 years as a home economics teacher. "I retired and now they don't have home economics anymore."

She started out by making them for friends, and then started making some for the nurses at Tanner East Alabama. She said she had made over a hundred for teachers who are handling textbooks and Chromebooks.

She said, "I started out by just using scraps I had around the house." Then came a problem for Mrs. Phillips - she ran out of elastic and material and couldn't find any. "I used children's headbands by cutting them in half, and I even started using rubber bands, but that didn't work too well. My friends, Hutch Hammond and Sid Hare, found me some material and elastic, so I started back sewing. I had to make several different sizes because there are so many different size heads and ears."

She said she had carried them to the nursing homes, clinic in Wadley, first responders ... anybody who needs them. For right now, Mrs. Phillips said she had put the cover back on her sewing machine, but if someone needs some more masks, she will get right back at it. "Right now I am out of fabric and elastic, but I can get some if I need to start back making them."

The masks are well made with good fabric and are washable. Residents helping residents, that what Sarah Ellen Phillips has done and will still do if needed.

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