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Sewing to Make Masks and a Difference
Sewing to Make Masks and a Difference
Posted on 08/17/2020
Two Weaverville mothers and sewing community members want kids to be safe and have fun while wearing face coverings this school year.Featured Photo (left to right): Angie Lamoree, owner of 5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew; Stephen Chandler, Principal of Weaverville Primary; and Sheryl Mann, local mother and mask-maker.

Article/Photos By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications

Sheryl Mann holds up one of her hand-sewn masks.Two Weaverville mothers and sewing community members want kids to be safe and have fun while wearing face coverings this school year. Clutching sanitized bags of about 90 handmade masks featuring colorful designs and characters, Sheryl Mann and Angie Lamoree visited Weaverville Primary School last week to drop off their generous donation.

“I don’t think any of us want to be wearing these on our faces right now. It’s a necessity,” said Mann. “What I really like about these fabrics is that they are all really bright and colorful. And if these colors appeal to the kids, maybe it’ll be fun and a little more attractive to wear them.”

Mann pulled her sewing machine out of a closet when the pandemic started about five months ago to start making protective masks for friends and family, but she also wanted to do something to help the greater community. She was struck that area mask-making efforts were typically focused on the needs of adults and that masks made for kids were hard to find. She found her inspiration at a Main Street shop owned by Angie Lamoree called 5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew.

Mann and Lamoree sit by a fountain in downtown Weaverville.“When Angie handed me all of this gorgeous fabric that had Beauty and the Beast and these super adorable little monkeys and animals, I sort of put two and two together,” she said.

When Lamoree learned that Mann was making masks for children in the North Buncombe community and Shriner’s Hospital in South Carolina, she started donating fabric to the cause. 5 Little Monkeys was already helping to supply area mask-sewing efforts for homeless shelters and first responders. The result of the new collaboration was bags upon bags of adjustable, pleated, kid-sized masks, complete with sanitary washing instructions.

“I don’t know how she’s so prolific. I don’t think she sleeps!” Lamoree joked about Mann.

“It’s always been a motto for our shop to be very community forward, and participate as much as we can in Weaverville,” she added. “I knew the fabric would go to a good place and would help people.”

Sheryl Mann speaks with Principal Stephen Chandler outside Weaverville Primary.Mann’s children attended Weaverville Primary years ago, and Lamoree’s children have also attended North Buncombe schools, so teaming up with the community school was a natural fit. As students return to learning this fall, the donated masks will be distributed to students who need them, alongside the school’s white cotton masks.

“I think it's a great example of how, working together, we can meet needs and, at the same time, gain a sense of satisfaction that we are supporting those in our community,” said Weaverville Primary Principal Stephen Chandler. “Anytime folks want to do things for my students, I'm eager to hear their ideas. This was a wonderful gift.”

“I’m not going to stop here,” said Mann. “I’m only one person, but I would love to see a community come together and meet the needs of our kids. Maybe this will inspire someone to break out their sewing machine.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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