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Seamstress helps front-line workers

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Submitted Photo Kathleen Fiel answered the call through her church to sew masks and head covers to make medical workers’ lives easier.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

When you speak with Kathleen Fiel about the much-needed garments she’s making, you see that she’s the definition of “neighbors helping neighbors.” Using her skill, she has been crocheting face masks, specialized mask holders and head covers to use for protection to keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, some have written to Kathleen calling her unique products “life-savers.”

Kathleen spoke about how the idea first came about: “Our church, Grace Community, sent out an email asking for anyone who could sew masks to please bring them to the church for distribution. That was an easy enough task, so while sewing my family and neighbors masks, I made about 15 extra.”

Kathleen found herself taking on even more.

“A few days later, in a neighborhood email group, there was an inquiry about anyone in Roswell who could sew head covers for nurses. Usually I just read the notices from this group, but after closing the email, I felt the Lord tug at my heart. I was stuck in the house, and I am a seamstress, so I asked what they needed in particular.”

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It wasn’t long before she met up with an “angel,” Kathleen said.

“The nurse who had inquired emailed a copy of the pattern she’d found on YouTube. After looking at it, I agreed to make the head covers. This wonderful nurse working at Eastern — I call her an ‘angel’ to be putting herself and her family at risk for us — brought me the material that afternoon.”

And then, the work began full-force. “I printed the pattern and made her six head covers out of cotton to be worn over the nurses’ hair and under the PPE supplied by the hospital. I recently heard from her and she stated that the other nurses also like the mask holders I crocheted because they keep the elastic off their ears.

“They are so helpful and comfortable for them that they’ve now asked for 10 more to be made.”

Kathleen is happy that she’s been able to add her talent to the mix in order to help others during this trying time. But it’s not a surprise; even though Kathleen is not originally from Roswell, she truly loves life and the community she and her family have found here.

“My husband, Sandy, and I have been residents since 2006. I worked for Pioneer Bank in the Mortgage Loan Department for 10 years until I retired, and my husband, although retired, still drives a school bus for Pollard Bus Company. We have four children and seven grandchildren. One of our daughters, Kim Smith, and her family live in the area and she works as a teacher and coach in Artesia schools.”

Kathleen also discussed all the wonderful things she’s found since relocating.

“Living in the Roswell area is awesome. Who can beat this weather? The community is so friendly and we have developed many life-sustaining friends. For entertainment, we love to watch our grandkids participate in sports and other activities. And we cherish the opportunity to give back through service at Grace Community Church.”

Giving back is something Kathleen has certainly done. Her background, when it comes to crocheting and sewing, actually dates to her time in high school.

“I have been sewing since I was a young child. Raised on a ranch in northern New Mexico, I was actively involved in 4-H, and when I was young, we were required to take Homemaking in high school. When our children were small, I sewed most of their clothes and continue to make clothes or costumes for whatever might be needed for our granddaughter.”

Kathleen said, “This current pandemic we’re living through is devastating to many families; not just the illness, itself, but the loss of their businesses. People need to remember that this country and this community will persevere. We all just need to have patience, and belief in God and this country.”

When asked about what others could do to assist during this time, Kathleen wants people to remember that everybody has a skill that can be used to support or help both neighbors and the community.

“We should all keep our eyes and ears open to assist those who are less fortunate or have fallen on hard times, especially right now,” Kathleen said. “To me, the best thing we can do is to buy American-made products and, most importantly, buy local as much as possible.”

She added, “I believe that there’s a tendency to push God into the background and ‘do for ourselves’ when we should be leaning on God to be His witness, and help others. As this medical community is struggling every day to protect each one of us, we should be honoring them in any way we can. They are putting their lives on the line for us, and I want to say thank you to the EMTs, police, doctors, nurses and support staff.

“I feel so blessed to have met and been able to help this beautiful ‘angel’ from Eastern, and I will continue to create whatever these caring people need to make their lives as easy as possible.”