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story.lead_photo.caption Veteran Albert Hunter concentrates on his sewing technique while learning to make masks for other veterans during a Creative Expression class in North Little Rock. Photo courtesy of CAVHS VAVS Chief Michael R. Dobbs. - Photo by Submitted photo

Fifteen sewing machines, plus supplies, have been donated or loaned to the Central Arkansas VA Healthcare System in North Little Rock for the "Sew With Veterans Project."

Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services at the Eugene Towbin VA Medical Center committed to support the VA Mental Health Services with the necessary equipment and supplies for approximately 100 inpatient veterans to make cloth masks in a therapeutic environment.

Michael R. Dobbs, CAVHS chief of Voluntary Services, said he and his staff just shared the need with the VAVS volunteer organizations, according to a news release from U.S.D. 1812. The project, conceived by Rodney Jackson of CAVHS Mental Health Service Recreational Therapy and his teammates, "is an example of thinking outside of the box."

Sewing machines are in short supply and organizations including U.S.D. 1812, Soldiers Angels, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and the Daughters of the American Revolution, searched for the machines using online retail sources plus solicited used machines from members and neighbors, the release said.

"The need has been met with the exception of volunteer instructors to teach the veterans how to use the machines and construct the masks per CDC guidelines. The project will engage veterans while they are restricted during this COVID-19 isolation period," it said.

To learn about volunteering or how to contribute, call Voluntary Services at 501-257-3288.

For more information about U.S.D. 1812, email the organization's national chairman, Sheila Beatty-Krout, at [email protected]

Society on 05/23/2020

Print Headline: Central Arkansas VA 'Sew With Veterans Project' a success

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