Operation Face Mask Protects City Mission Residents
“Operation Face Mask” - A Request to Sew City Mission Face Masks - Goes Viral and Produces Thousands of Masks for over 70 Organizations
When City Mission staffer Sue Gartland called professional quilter Melanie Scott to ask if the Martha Washington Quilter’s Guild could make masks for City Mission residents, she answered yes without hesitation.
“I was just sitting around home like everyone else, watching the news and feeling depressed,” she reported. “But I kept thinking about our healthcare providers. My Mom is a retired phlebotomist, and I couldn’t imagine her drawing blood without access to protective equipment. The same for nurses and everyone else taking care of other people. So I decided to try to get some friends together and see what we could do.”
Melanie invited 100 people, both sewing enthusiasts and recipients, to participate with the project. Among the first people she reached out to were members of the Martha Washington Quilters Guilt, who had sewn beautiful, handmade quilts for City Mission’s Crabtree-Kovacicek Veterans House 22 beds.
“I was floored,” she said. “Everyone responded and shared, then those people responded and shared, and it just went viral.”
Melanie’s 11-year-old daughter Rowyn named the group “Operation Face Mask” and her husband Christopher began packing and labeling the masks that started flowing in from generous sewists. To date, the group of 70 has made and given out over 3,500 masks to 70 facilities, entirely free of charge.
I was just sitting around home like everyone else, watching the news and feeling depressed,” she reported. “But I kept thinking about our healthcare providers. My Mom is a retired phlebotomist, and I couldn’t imagine her drawing blood without access to protective equipment.
“The growth of it has really taken me by surprise,” said Melanie. “We hoped to make a few for doctor’s offices, just to contribute. “Now we’ve given hundreds and hundreds out—to Washington Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, area nursing homes, just all over.”
And City Mission?
“We received a hundred masks form Melanie’s group, and were we ever grateful!” said City Mission’s Chief Development Officer Dr. Sally Mounts. ”We passed them out immediately to our residents. We’re getting another hundred next week. It’s just extraordinary what Operation Face Mask has done to stem the tide of COVID-19, for us and everyone else.”
“It’s so easy to forget the goodness in the world,” said Melanie. “Then something like this happens, and you see everyone coming together. I’m so grateful for the team, and all the sewists. They’re amazing.”
Organizations needing masks can be put on a waiting list at Operation Face Mask by emailing OperationFaceMaskWashCoPa@gmail.com and talking to Melanie or Christopher Scott, or by calling them directly at 724-356-6253. They can also join the Facebook Group “Operation Face Mask, Washington County.”
PTSD Awareness Story
A symptom of PTSD known as hyper-vigilance makes combat veterans feel constantly on edge or “keyed-up.” Many who suffer from PTSD have difficulty relaxing and enjoying everyday life. They struggle to sleep, so they are always exhausted, and they have difficulty maintaining work performance or building relationships.
“Keep Looking Forward”
“I love working at the Mission,” smiled Denny Kennedy, City Mission’s new Chief Financial Officer, who was hired back in late February. “It’s nice to be around people who have a passion for what they do. How could you not be inspired?”
City Mission Launches New Website
We have completely redesigned our website with you in mind - streamlining menus, simplifying navigation, and building a responsive layout across all platforms and browsers. We have also improved the structure and are increasing the volume of City Mission’s content.
City Mission Thrift Stores Reopen
City Mission Thrift Stores were closed for retail shopping for over two months during the COVID quarantine, but they never completely closed during that time. All of City Mission’s seven thrift stores remained open to accept donations, and five of them were used as Pop-up Pantry sites to distribute food bags to those in need during the crisis. The Pop-up Pantry program gave away over 4,000 bags of food in eight weeks.
We’re All In This Together
These are fearful times, and a homeless shelter is probably the last place you’d choose to hunker down at a time like this. But the residents at City Mission are responding to this crisis with remarkable patience, compassion, and togetherness.“They are adapting to this challenging situation and doing so with a smile,” explained Leah Dietrich, City Mission’s Director of Residential Programs. “That is such a blessing. I’m proud of them for their response and impressed with all that they are acc
Happy Earth Day, Everyday at City Mission
When you donate to our City Mission Thrift Stores, your donation makes a far bigger impact than you might think. Whether you are looking to be kind to the planet this Earth Day or to help those in need in our community, donating your unwanted items to City Mission helps to make the world a better place, one small act at a time.
Stay at Home-School at City Mission is Working!
Just like you, our Women with Children Shelter families are staying home to learn. Our staff have created a structured, quiet, school room environment using our CTEC classrooms for our school age kids who study with their moms by their side. Our childcare center has been rearranged into a Head Start classroom where pre-school age children can learn together.
City Mission and Citizens Library Partner to Build a Better Community
City Mission is working with the Citizens Library to expand the resources available to help restore its residents to sustainable, independent living. The collaboration is a natural one. “Our primary goal is to help prepare people for life outside these four walls,” said Steve Nicholas, the City Mission Director of Career Training and Education. “Partnering
Pop-Up Pantries in Four Locations
As there are many individuals who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 business closures, City Mission is coordinating Pop-Up Pantries for anyone in need at four different locations across Washington County. Depending on the quantities of supplies secured and the extent of the virus’ impact, City Mission intends to host the pantries for three to four weeks. Each pantry client will receive a bag of groceries featuring non-perishable food items and paper products.
City Mission Still Open and Helping Homeless and Community
Dear Friends,Thank you for your continued support of City Mission. With all that is going on today, we need you now more than ever. As a valued partner providing to those in need, we want to make sure we share the latest of what is being done, especially regarding the Coronavirus. You may have seen in our recent communications, City Mission is taking precautions to protect our vulnerable population of residents and to help mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus.
Tips for De-Cluttering
Spring is only a week away, and as the temperature warms, many people are motivated to embark on annual spring-cleaning rituals. After several months of living with doors and windows closed, both dust and possessions have accumulated in our homes, and now is the perfect time to try to reduce both. Along with the typical spring-cleaning tasks, such as having rugs and draperies cleaned, laundering mattress covers and pillows, and clearing out unwanted items from closets, you might also consider the following clutter culprits as prime targets for removal during your cleanup.
Tax Strategies to Benefit both Donor and City Mission
If you are a high-income senior citizen who donates to City Mission, are you taking advantage of a great tax loophole to maximize your gift? Clients across the country are using this strategy to enhance their charitable giving, especially since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act practically eliminated the need to itemize.As you know, once you have hit the "magic age" of 70 and 1/2, the IRS requires that you take a required minimum distribution on your IRA annually.
It's Time to de-Clutter and Donate!
Are you looking for a place to donate clothing to? Look no further! City Mission Thrift Store will take your clothing donations! You can drop your items off at any one of our seven Store Locations or in one of our City Mission Donation Bins in an area near you. Your Donations Help Change Lives!
“Such a Blessing”
“Our goal is to help people manage their pain,” said Cyndi Urbanowicz, a retired flight nurse and one of the medical volunteers at the clinic. “Unfortunately, most of the residents we see have chronic pain. We’re helping to decrease their pain and other symptoms.” Sadly, the need for a drug-free pain management clinic like the one at City Mission is overwhelming. More than 30% of all Americans have some form of acute or chronic pain, and pain-relieving opioids are now the most commonly-prescribed class of medications in the United States.
City Mission to Hold Expungement Day
The Legal Clinic at the City Mission in Washington, Pa., as well as Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services and the Washington County Bar Association, are coming together Friday, March 29, to host a free criminal expungement clinic for residents of the City Mission homeless shelter and income-eligible members of the public. The “Expungement Day” program will take place at the City Mission from 9 a.m. to noon. The Mission is located at 84 West Wheeling Street in Washington.
City Mission Lends A Hand to Government Employees
Over 800,000 workers and their families across the US are currently being affected by the Federal Government shutdown. No paycheck means no money for mortgage payments, groceries, or household items. City Mission has recently introduced a 'Show Your Government ID Program' for furloughed or out-of-work federal government employees in Southwestern PA. This program will continue for the duration of the shutdown. Just show your government ID at City Mission, 84 West Wheeling Street, Washington PA , for you and your family to receive:
City Mission Celebrates Grand Opening of Women with Children Shelter
Families with children are the fastest-growing homeless population in the US. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 41% of the homeless population is comprised of families, and 84% of these families are headed by single women. That is why City Mission has expanded their Women with Children Shelter, doubling their capacity to house women and children in need.
Twelve Steps & Biblical Comparisons
Did you know that each day, more than 700,000 people seek treatment for addiction? During the month of September, we celebrate with our program residents and the 23 million people in recovery who have made the brave decision to start their journey toward healing and renewal.At City Mission we offer Biblically-Based-counseling to the men and women participating in our Life Recovery Programs.
How Can I Help the Homeless?
Excerpt from Union Gospel Mission webpage - "How to Help People who are Experiencing Homelessness" 1. Give them food, coupons, or gift certificates, or refer them to a local social service agency. If a person is hungry, offer him/her food, coupons, or gift certificates to nearby restaurants or grocery stores. Or refer him/her to an agency that can provide food and shelter such as a local soup kitchen. Never give out cash. The money you give to “help” that person could be used to buy drugs or alcohol instead.
Recently a resident of City Mission's Life Recovery Program faced the reality of addiction in a letter: To my addiction: Today I realize for the first time with total clarity the damage you’ve done and the intention you have for me. You plan to keep me in bondage to failure, loss, hopelessness and misery, to finish me off in the ultimate bondage of death. For so long you have managed to convince me not to fight for more than anything you allow.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day
Today is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Our nation stops to remember our servicemen and women who served in the Vietnam War. As a nation, we didn’t do our part in welcoming home these war veterans from a conflict that continues to haunt so many of them.