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Years after 95-year-old June Ellis owned a sewing machine and alterations shop in Columbus, she applied her expertise to help craft face masks for the most vulnerable in the Athens-Oconee area.

Ellis and her daughter-in-law, Sandy Ellis, have contributed hundreds of masks for local children and adults, many of whom are staying at a local homeless shelter. 

“It gave her something to do that was very useful and would help other people,” Sandy said. 

Sandy got June plugged into local mask making efforts when a friend of hers, Definitely Handmade owner Maria Reese of Watkinsville, put out a call in March for mask making.

“Maria started this with masks going to the hospital workers,” said Sandy. Now that hospital workers don’t need as many face masks, they are going other places, such as homeless shelters.

Reese explained that she has enlisted her 80-year-old mother’s help with the masks, too. 

“For these two precious ladies, it’s been the best thing for them,” said Reese.

In addition to the homeless shelter, June has made masks for the ACTS food pantry, which has been giving out free masks with food donations. 

Sandy and June estimated that they have made about 300 masks so far.

For more on this story, see the July 9 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

 

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