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Norwood couple teams up to make masks

Nancy Josey and her husband Oren, are taking up the call to produce cloth masks for those who are in need of them due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Joseys were inspired to begin making them after her pastor at Memorial Baptist Church contacted her. A congregant, who happens to be a nurse at Atrium Health Stanly’s cancer center, asked the pastor if people would help make masks in case the hospital ran out.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people voluntarily wear facial masks in public. Stanly County currently has 17 confirmed cases.

The Joseys have already given away masks to various organizations including Trinity Place, Spring Arbor, employees at Walmart and Lowes and family and friends. They also plan on giving masks to Atrium Health.

Nancy said a few other ladies in the church are also making masks.

The couple, who are retired, work downstairs in Nancy’s craft room, while listening to 89.3 Joy FM. They usually begin sometime in the morning and work until they get tired.

“We work sometimes until 9:30, 10 at night,” said Oren.

It takes them about 30 minutes to produce a mask.

It truly is a team effort. Oren cuts the fabric, presses and folds the pleats and pins them in while Nancy does the sewing.

“We have our own little production line,” Nancy says.

The masks, which are 100 percent cotton and vary in color, have linings in them for added protection and come equipped with filter pockets.

They Joseys have already produced several masks. Photo courtesy of Nancy Josey.

The couple also do not have to make many trips to purchase cloth or elastic. Nancy’s late mother left her with an abundance of sewing materials and thread. Many people have also given them material.

The Joseys are happy to help those in their area and feel called to do their part.

“Well that’s what we’re supposed to do,” Nancy said about helping. “As Christians, you’re supposed to help take care of each other. And that’s what we try to do. We try to do all we can for anybody.”

“A lot of people want them (masks) and we’re trying to get them to anyone that calls,” Oren said.

“While we’re all shut in anyway it’s kind of nice to be able to do something for somebody else and really feel good about it,” Oren added.

“We’re all in this together and I think the Lord wants us to take care of each other as best we can,” she said. “So that’s what we try to do.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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