Blackwell church makes masks for locals

by Jordan Green

Members of the House of Prayer church in Blackwell might be a little worn out from making masks for local residents trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus. But they won't let anything stop them from working.

Women who attend the House of Prayer, located at 900 S. 9th St. in Blackwell, have made approximately 800 masks in the last three weeks, and they've been giving the masks away to those who need them.

Nellie Jack, Raelene Kincaid, and Diana Whittington made masks at their homes when churches across the nation were closed to stop the spread of the virus. Now that places of worship are open again, the three are coming together at the church to sew, press, and fold masks.

“We're busy,” Kincaid said May 4 as she sewed a mask together using tractor-themed fabric. “We're making as many as we need.”

Of the 800 masks, the women recently donated 150 masks to Blackwell Regional Hospital and another 150 to Stillwater Medical Center.

While businesses and public places across the nation are reopening, the pandemic isn't over yet. And some of the nation's top health officials say the coronavirus could resurge in the fall.

That's why the three women are working so hard, Jack said. They're going to make sure they have a stockpile of masks ready in the event that the virus does return.

While they are mainly making masks, the trio is also making bags for patients at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments. They've made 60 bags so far. And with the scrap fabric they have left over from making masks and bags, they'll stitch together lap blankets for residents at the local nursing home. But don't tell Santa: They'll donate the blankets around Christmas time.

The church is also providing food to those in need. In April, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma gave the church a large supply of vegetables and non-perishable food items, Jack said. Church members had three food giveaways in April and another one May 9. The church has a giveaway at least once a month. And after each Sunday morning service, church members provide lunch to anyone who shows up.

The three women are accepting donations of elastic bands and fabric that they can use to make more masks. To donate materials or request masks, contact Jack by phone at 580-363-5225 or at 580-670-4515.

“This is just a way of giving back to the community,” Kincaid said.