Volunteers are needed to help sew masks for a Nanaimo B.C. SPCA fundraiser. (Facebook photo)

Volunteers are needed to help sew masks for a Nanaimo B.C. SPCA fundraiser. (Facebook photo)

COVID-19 mask fundraiser helping out Nanaimo SPCA

Organizer looking for more volunteers to help with sewing

A Nanaimo woman wants to turn a negative to a positive during the COVID-19 pandemic through her cotton mask fundraiser benefiting the SPCA.

Martha Marcin, Nanaimo SPCA branch’s 2019 volunteer of the year, operates Nanaimo Cat Sitter and has seen business dry up due to pandemic restrictions. Marcin had previously sewn masks for staff and was wondering how to keep herself busy until business picks up again.

“I was talking to [Leon Davis, Nanaimo B.C. SPCA manager] and he was mentioning how since they’ve had to close the shelter to foot traffic, they are poised to lose pretty much all the revenue that they were going to be getting from walk-through traffic…” said Marcin. “I was quite concerned … so I decided to see if I could raise a little bit of money to at least cover what they’d be losing from foot traffic going to the gift shop, so that’s why I started the mask fundraiser.”

Since April 6, Marcin said there have been $4,000 in donations confirmed. Unfortunately, demand is so high that she’s had to halt production a number of times.

“We are projected, with orders where they are, to at least make another $500,” said Marcin. “Unfortunately we’ve had to close the fundraiser because I’m simply out of volunteers and we’re booked up until June.”

The masks are a rectangular piece of fabric with a pair of elastic bands, 100 per cent cotton and approved by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for basic use, according to Marcin. There are 300 orders in the queue and people who volunteer need experience sewing, she said.

“I would say that it could be a beginner project, but because we are giving them in exchange for donations directly to the SPCA, 100 per cent of all proceeds … the masks have to [pass muster],” said Marcin. “We can’t give out something poor to them … because of the fact they have to be washed, the seams have to be good and properly done.”

Volunteers are given a package of pre-cut material and instructions on how to sew the mask.

“Then I take a look at them and offer critique if needed, but for the most part I’d say the majority of the sewers are fine to do them,” Marcin said.

Davis said the SPCA in Nanaimo has had to limit services.

“We shut about three weeks ago to the public completely,” said Davis. “Our first order of business was to separate and limit contact between staff and volunteers and all the public and focus on animal care.”

Those interested in offering assistance can e-mail Marcin at nanaimocatsitter@gmail.com.

Orders have been suspended, but information on the fundraiser can be found here.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? E-mail your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca.

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

#wereinthistogetherCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ business committee is recommending busing for the Rutherford and Frank J. Ney elementary school area be retained. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo school trustees vote against cutting Rutherford-Frank J. Ney bus route

Staff report points to yearly transportation budget deficits

Nanaimo RCMP seek help in locating Shannon Lettington, 35. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo RCMP searching for missing 35-year-old woman

Shannon Lettington, of Nanaimo, has not contacted her family since October

This month Christy Blom’s Springtime show is on display at Art 10 Gallery. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo painter welcomes spring with watercolour exhibition

Christy Blom presents month-long ‘Springtime’ show at Art 10 Gallery

Lucas Philp, senior fish culturist at Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery, packs up pipes and hoses used to transfer trout from the transport truck into lakes, shortly after releasing about 500 rainbow trout into Colliery Dam No. 3 lake Wednesday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
There are fresh fish to catch in Nanaimo’s lakes

Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery released thousands of catchable-size rainbow trout this week

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Beef to the plow driver who completely soaked me in dirty slush at the bus stop at Fifth and Hillcrest. I could tell you were driving quite fast so I tried to back up as far as the snowbank would allow but you did not slow down. I am 68 and had to pick up a prescription and had no choice but to continue on soaking wet.
Beefs & Bouquets, March 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read