David Moore’s wife, Paula, had her doubts when she saw he had bought himself a sewing machine and set it up at home in early April. GoTriangle’s procurement manager, Moore had a plan to help fight COVID-19, but it required a skill he didn’t have.
“I wanted to be able to give back somehow, and I saw a lot of people were making these masks, and I said, ‘I can probably make a mask, too.’ But I had never touched a sewing machine in my entire life,” he recalls, chuckling as he remembers his wife’s reaction when she saw the sewing machine. “She said, ‘Oh, you’d better hold the receipt for that because that is going back.’ She thought that I was off on one of my adventures again!”
To learn to use his machine, he turned to YouTube, and within two weeks he had made more than 100 face coverings and given them away with just one request: The recipients needed to send him selfies wearing the masks.
“YouTube is a godsend,” he says. “They’ll show you everything … so now I am so familiar with my sewing machine that I know all the quirks about it.”
As his sewing skills improved, he says, he gained confidence, which led him to keep churning out more and better gifts.
“Practice makes perfect,” he says. “I got really good at it, so I said, ‘Let me see who I can make the masks for.’ ”
He thought about his wife, a U.S. postal service employee, and her co-workers, all essential staff members, and began sewing masks for them.
“They loved them,” he recalls. “All these selfies started coming in with all of these people with the masks on, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was just incredible how many people I touched with these masks.”
His success inspired Moore to offer his new skills to his coworkers in GoTriangle’s Finance department, and he announced in a staff meeting that he would sew them all face coverings.
“I thought it was a genuine act of kindness and generosity toward coworkers,” says Jennifer Hayden, GoTriangle’s assistant director of Finance. “He totally set the example in promoting our safety and health. The masks are also very creative and beautiful.”
Moore has since gotten a request from GoTriangle’s Regional Information Services Department, and he particularly wants to sew face coverings for our bus operators who, like his wife, are essential workers. He also has made masks for a friend – a teacher at a cosmetology school in Chapel Hill – and her staff.
“It takes about 15 minutes to make a mask, so I’m sewing on the weekends,” he says. “I am the kind of person who will continue going until I can’t go anymore, so on the weekends, in the evenings, you know, I’m making them.”
Moore packages his face coverings in zippered plastic bags and affixes a label with the message, “Made with love. Stay safe.”
Now that he’s adept at using his sewing machine, he says he gets a kick out of teasing Paula, who still is bringing home requests from her office and is happy he’s helping others.
“I always tell her, ‘Going back? My sewing machine is going back?’” he says, laughing. “She can’t believe how good I’m making these masks.”
-- Written by GoTriangle Internal Communications Specialist Odile Fredericks