Two scraps of fabric from a neighbor. That’s how it all started. Today, she has produced hundreds of masks and has donated them to individuals, hospitals, and businesses. As the sole creator, seamstress Tammy Graham may be exhausted, but her heart is full. “I’m stitching my life back together with each mask, and I want to help others do the same,” she said.
Diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy that left her with light sensitivity, Tammy sits behind her sewing machine in a dimly lit room from dawn until dusk, pouring her heart into each creation. Recently she tripped over a glass coffee table and took a tumble, shattering the table and ending up in the emergency room. While many might be discouraged and take this opportunity to rest, Tammy instead made connections with hospital staff who shared their need for more masks. A bit sore and bruised she headed home refueled and got back to work – with a new order from that same hospital!
We may never know how far our impact will reach. When Tammy sewed that first mask, she had no idea that her work would travel to over 10 states and be worn by thousands of people. The most amazing part of her story is that she has been making masks for free! She won’t take a dime for her labors, but instead asks for donations to a local charity, House of Hope. Her goal is to “Pay it Forward” to help the hurting, hungry, and homeless.
To date, Tammy has made 2200 masks and has donated over 900 pounds of food collected from mask recipients – and she’s not slowing down! While her body may be tired at times, her hands and heart forge on.
Tammy Graham wearing her first mask.