It’s not every day you get the help you need from a group that’s just visiting your town. But when Missouri Campers on Mission stopped in Lebanon, they made a big impact at a very important time.
Earlier this spring, as COVID-19 concerns had resulted in widespread stay-at-home orders, the group kept its scheduled plans to help erect a covered arena at Laclede Baptist Camp. The nine men in the group set to work on that, while the women put the pedal down on their sewing machines.
“It’s our desire to fill needs in the community, whether quilts, lap robes, curtains or whatever,” said Nancy Janes, co-president of Missouri Campers on Mission. “The camp manager reached out to local nursing homes to see if they needed masks. They did, and we took the leftover masks to Mercy. That’s when we discovered their pressing need was surgical caps.”
With the sudden demand for PPE, the hospital saw the need for caps that could be sanitized and re-used.
“At the time, we weren’t sure how many COVID-19 patients we might see, so we focused on being good stewards of the supplies we had,” said Judy O’Connor-Snyder, executive director of Nursing at Mercy Hospital Lebanon.
The group always brings their fabric, notions and sewing machines, but this was a pretty tall order. A local church member donated additional supplies to help. “The task before us was God-given and God-sized,” Janes said. “But He also led us to do more than we believed we could.”
With five women working throughout several days, the group cranked out 170 surgical caps and 230 face masks.
“These wonderful, hand-crafted gifts came at just the right time,” said Karen Simpson-Neasby, executive director of Mercy Health Foundation Lebanon. “They not only protected our patients and co-workers, but the fun fabric really brightened everyone’s mood. The caps spread such a feeling of love throughout the hospital.”
As is often the case, those who give say they get as much from it as those who receive. “We feel blessed to be able to have been a small part of answering the immediate needs in this community,” Janes said.
Mercy Lebanon is now getting patients rescheduled for surgeries, procedures and diagnostic testing. “We’re continuing to take all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe,” said O’Connor-Snyder. “If you need us, we’ll be here and ready.”