Photo courtesy Anne Pierce: Church of Scientology Seattle volunteer Judy Arnold wanted to support the church’s mask project to help emergency workers.
Photo courtesy Anne Pierce: Church of Scientology Seattle volunteer Judy Arnold wanted to support the church’s mask project to help emergency workers.

Volunteers for the Church of Scientology Seattle recently made the most of their time at home to by providing masks for people in need for a project organized by the church.

One of the volunteers, Judy Arnold, said she has been sewing since she was 10. The mother of three and grandmother of four went through her stash of fabric she had collected through the years and used everything that was appropriate to make masks. Just as she was running out, a friend donated a box of fabric so she could keep on making 15 to 20 masks each day.

Arnold said she decided to participate because many people don’t have access to things like this.

“It’s serving a good purpose because they’re reusable, they can be washed and they’re filling a need for people who are providing such a valuable service and who don’t have any other access to them otherwise,” Arnold said.

Linda Smith, a second-generation Scientologist whose sister and brother, daughter and grandchildren are also members of the church, is riding out the pandemic at home.

“I started this by making some masks for my brother whose kids live in the Philippines,” Smith said.

She said her family can’t go out without masks, but there were none available there, so she created and shipped masks over to them. She was looking for what she could do with the fabric she had left over and found out her church was making and donating masks to emergency workers. 

She makes 50 masks a week — 25 for the project and 25 that she sells to help make ends meet.

“I think it’s fabulous to do this because it’s very difficult to find masks here,” Smith said. “The people we’re making masks for are helping the homeless and other people who are neglected and left behind, and what we are doing gives them the protection they need to do their jobs.”

Unlike the other two, Deanna Seaman is still working at her job at the Port of Tacoma. She makes masks when she gets home from work. She started in the effort because of the daughter of one of her coworkers works in a senior facility in Montana, and they had no personal protection equipment.

“While I was making masks to ship to Montana, I was researching the availability of masks and found out it is a much bigger situation than I thought,” Seaman said.

She was then told by a friend from church that the Salvation Army needs masks for workers and residents at their centers.

“The Salvation Army has a mission to care for those in their emergency shelters and centers,” said Rev. Ann Pearce, who is coordinating the Church of Scientology in Seattle mask efforts. “Staff and residents are more at risk without these masks, so we are making as many as we can to fill that need and those of others in our community as well. We also appreciate those from other faiths who have joined us on this project.”

People who can assist with making face masks for donation can contact Ann at annpearce@scientology.net.