Oblate Partner Responds To COVID-19 Shortage

Missionary Oblate Partnership

By Artie Pingolt, president, Missionary Oblate Partnership

Wearing one of the masks she has created for hospital staff is Renee Benson, Co-founder of the Missionary Oblate Partnership.

This is a time when most of us are feeling closed in, a bit trapped, and
mostly powerless as we hunker down and attempt to “ride out” the storm of
COVID-19.  For Missionary Oblate Partnership Co-founder Renee Benson, it was
a call to action.  For several years, operating out of her business in
Blanco, Texas, Renee and several other women who are handy with a sewing
machines have been making blankets for various charities in Texas.  With the
onset of shortages of protective garments and facemasks, Renee and her gang
aimed their sewing machines at the problem and have been sewing masks and
providing them to local hospitals.

Renee says she’s learned two things so far:  “It takes a half a yard of
cloth to make 3 masks.  And the nurses prefer that we make them with
strings, not elastic: the elastic hurts the ears more!”

She went on to downplay the heroism of her work saying that she has learned
that folks all over the country are responding with their sewing machines
and 5-6 different patterns for making masks are available over the internet.
And “sew” the story goes- great work, Renee!