NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- A global pandemic is no match for a central New Yorker who sees a need and wants to fill it. Cars lined up outside Joann Fabrics and Crafts, in the New Hartford Shopping Center, on Tuesday. By 1:30 p.m., more than 200 people had picked up donated supplies from the store, to make masks to protect local healthcare workers from the coronavirus.
One of them, Ron Loubier, has problems of his own; his Whitesboro home was severely damaged in the halloween floods-a headache he's still dealing with on a daily basis. But there he stood, waiting for small swaths of fabric, so he and his wife could make the protective masks.
"Oh, yeah, every day, you know, but life goes on and you've gotta help everyone else, also," said Loubier, outside the store. "...So we decided to make some for our pediatrician's office and another provider's office."
People waited in their cars for store staff to bring out their kits, which they did, with a hearty "thank you." Joan McKenzie waited in her car with her daughter and two very friendly, enthusiastic dogs.
"There are a lot of people that want to help, it's just how to help appropriately," said McKenzie.
In Rome, Courtney Metz is temporarily out of work from her job with NYS Corrections. She's using her down time to make masks, counting on her children to pick out fabrics and as mannequins for fittings.
"I already have some friends and family that have reached out. These are basic masks for right now. I've ordered supplies for the filtered, which are much better for the healthare so as soon as I get them I will make the filtered ones and I will mail them out to all our families and friends who need them," said Metz. "It does help mentally and it makes me feel good that I'm helping, that I could do something."