Local great-grandmother hard at work to provide masks to those without one

Local News

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — With more and more East Tennessee counties urging people to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, one great-grandmother is doing her part to provide masks for people who don’t have one yet.

So far, over 200 high-quality masks have been stitched together in the back bedroom of one generous lady.

For the last three months, Bennie has been at her sewing machine making homemade masks. At 86 years old, a widow, and great-grandmother, she started sewing as a teenager.

Over her 50 years of marriage, she sewed clothes for her daughters and is familiar with her machine, but said those first masks she stitched in April were just too loose.

“My daughter who lives in Newport came over one day and said, ‘Momma, these aren’t quite right. Here is a surgical mask, look at it.'”


At that point, Bennie said she made better fitting masks, and then friend suggested sending them to a group of seniors.

“Regency Home Assistance in Morristown needed some masks made for their people. They brought me some material and it just got me started.”


“When I pray, I pray for guidance, I pray for a guardian angel to give me guidance. I sent a mask to everybody that I knew in the entire United States.”


She cuts the cotton cloth from a pattern she made herself, no need to be precise at this point; the precision is stitching the sloth and liner together. She doesn’t want the masks coming apart.

To make it fun, Bennie sends masks in a variety of colors, including orange.

There are some people you meet who have a magnetic personality, and Bennie is one of them.

Presently, she is sharing those masks with friends and others in her community.

At the age of 86, Bennie says to protect her health, she wears a mask every time she leaves her home.


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