Richmond Hill family answering calling to sew masks

The Berry family is sewing masks for those who need them across the United States.
The Berry family is sewing masks for those who need them across the United States.(WTOC-TV)
Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 11:46 PM EDT
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - See a need, fill a need.

“I would have been sewing dresses or something, but this has much more meaning," Bertice Berry explained.

For Berry, it’s a spiritual act.

“Let your way be known upon the Earth, you’re saving health among all nations,” she prayed.

She prays over each mask laying them on her prayer book, doing her part and giving herself a sense of purpose during a time where her life has been halted.

“I speak to large corporations and companies all over the world," Berry explained. “Nobody needs somebody to talk to a large group right now, because there is no large group, which makes me a non-essential employee until I start making masks, and then I’m very essential, and I think a lot of people are sitting at home thinking, you know, there’s nothing I can do, or I can’t help. Whatever you do incredibly well, do that. Somebody needs it.”

She believes anyone can help the crisis in some way.

“Everybody has something that they can offer, that they can do that makes them a part of the solution, and not a part of the pain.”

She’s supplied masks to neighbors, healthcare workers, those that work in the Chatham County Courthouse, people as far as New York City, Arizona, and Seattle. Berry is funding it all by herself and hasn’t taken a cent of payment.

“Doctors are seeing patients who can’t pay. Well, I’m not going to ask them to pay for these masks, but I know they need them.”

She’s enlisted her niece and daughter for help.

“It feels good helping other people, like, be safe," said Bertice’s daughter, Fatima Berry.

Her niece, Latoya Berry, served in the military as a nurse but is immune-compromised and can no longer do that type of work.

“This is just as satisfying as those things, because it’s still helping,” she said.

They cut, pin and sew each mask with care. The final step in their process is to steam each mask with essential oil water to help kill germs, then they seal them in individual plastic packages before they send them off.

They are using hand sanitizer and hand washing often, to make the masks as sanitary as possible.

All of the fabric Berry is using was bought at small, local textile companies throughout her travels.

The Berry’s say they’ll keep making the masks as long as they have the materials and there is a need. They’ve made over 900 masks so far.

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