June 24, 2020 – Sewing is something Linda Carroll has always done. She remembers when her eighth-grade home economics teacher wanted the class to sew a simple skirt. Linda instead made a skirt, blouse, and pants that were all coordinated and fit the assignment’s criteria. In 1982, Linda and her mother sewed her wedding gown and a head piece to match. “It wasn’t cathedral worthy, but it was gorgeous for me,” recalled Linda.

She admits that there have been times when sewing was not her favorite activity, but it has always found a way to come back to her. When the coronavirus pandemic began, Linda heard about the need for masks and other items that could be made by sewing. She didn’t hesitate to get started.

“God has given me a talent to be able to sew and a passion for helping others,” said Linda. She was sewing in her spare time as she works for a Certified Public Accountant in Milton.

Linda had already sewn more than 225 masks for the medical community and food industries when she heard that Massasoit’s Allied Health programs were also in need. She’s been taking a few classes at Massasoit, and it was in late April when she was reading President Glickman’s daily email updates and felt compelled to help the college.

At the end of May, Linda dropped off 200 of her sewn masks for Allied Health, as well additional masks for other students who requested them.

“I’m certainly not alone. There are thousands of other crafters across the country who’ve changed from an artistic to practical side of sewing – it’s just incredible,” said Linda. “It humbles me so much because sewing is easy to do, but it’s so valuable and necessary now.”

Linda, her husband and daughter are immunocompromised, and for that reason she knew volunteering on the front lines would not be possible. What she could, and did do to help, was stay home and sew. Linda says she can turn out about 40 masks a day.

In the midst of all of this, Linda also found time to sew a couple of outfits for her granddaughter who turned four last month. She also splurged on a new sewing machine, but for anyone interested in picking up the hobby, she warns that prices on machines have doubled over the past few months.

What’s next for Linda? She’ll keep adding to her more than 600 completed masks.

“I’m not stopping because the virus isn’t stopping. I’m working with a charity out of Leominster now that’s sending me materials, and I sew it and send it back to them.”

Linda will also be applying to Massasoit’s Business Administration Careers – Accounting program and hopes to complete the full degree.