Giving Back

Members donate thousands of masks

Helping one stitch at a time

Earlier this fall, PEC launched its Masks for Members campaign. Immediately, our members stepped up to help their communities by pledging to sew and donate masks. By the beginning of October, PEC members had pledged more than 3,500 masks!

When Nancy McLaughlin, a PEC member in Leander, learned about the program, she knew she wanted to participate. She was already sewing masks for areas in need across the country, and said participating in the program has helped her feel even more connected to
her cooperative and the community she loves. McLaughlin was eager to help locally and pledged to donate 100 masks per week for as long as the need exists.

“I’ve always been brought up to help your community and put your neighbor first,” she said. “I’m very fortunate I can do this; if it’s one way I can give back to help keep people safe, then that’s something I need to do.”

Sewing isn’t the only way to help. Mehmet Nalcaci, also a member in Leander, donated more than 2,000 KN95 masks to the program.

“I am proud to be a member of PEC and to support our community,” Nalcaci said. “I want to thank PEC for always supporting our community and am looking forward to contributing to future projects.”

All masks will be donated to the Ascension Seton and Baylor Scott & White Health systems. The hospitals will then clean the masks and distribute them to people who need them most, including visitors who are less likely to have access to masks without our help.

In September, PEC donated 600 child and adult- sized masks to the Ascension Seton Children’s Care-a-Van, which provides medical care to underserved and uninsured or underinsured children in the Highland Lakes area.

“The Ascension Seton Highland Lakes Care-a- Van team members are so humbled and amazed to receive these masks from PEC and their members,” Family Nurse Practitioner Chandra Irvin said. “Our Care-a-Van patients and their family members very much appreciate this thoughtful and generous donation. It will be fun to watch each child select their favorite mask from all the creative designs. What a perfect way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and also show them we care. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Want to join the effort? Learn more about PEC’s Masks for Members program at pec.coop/masks.