Updated: May 7
Aimee Riebold’s passion for helping the community inspired both her children to help as well as her Grandmother! “It feels so great to make a difference from home”, she tells me.
She found this group soon after her friend, Dr Danielle Grant (a local pediatrician), asked if she could help make masks for community healthcare providers. Joining the TX N95 Covers Initiative helped Aimee to fulfill this request.
Although Aimee had not sewn in 15 years, she was inspired to set up her sewing machine which she had last used to sew little pillows and burp cloths when her daughter was a baby. With the fabric donations from this initiative and the help of her now 16-year-old daughter, Alexis, they both set about making at least 10 mask covers per day.
Alexis was taught by a lady to sew when she was only eight years old and apparently is more confident operating the sewing machine than Aimee. It wasn’t long before Aimee’s 13-year-old son, Caiden also got involved by cutting and ironing the bias tapes! When the number of bias tapes grew too large to keep up with the ironing, Aimee’s friend, Mel Brue, came to the rescue and has been ironing ever since.
“Although we usually make ten a day, we have been getting faster - Alexis did 30 yesterday!” In total this Riebold trio has made over 400 covers!
Aimee has helped in whatever way she could - cutting, sewing and driving for pick-ups and drop-offs. However, the Riebold family contribution did not quite end there...
Aimee’s beloved 92-year-old grandma, Marie Link (or GeGe as she is lovingly called), from Missouri soon got involved as well! With the help of fabric donations in her community, GeGe made 70 covers for our initiative! Aimee explains that GeGe is an independent woman who lives on her own and normally is extremely active in her church community, often cooking meals for everyone. She needed to find an activity to keep her busy during quarantine so was more than happy to help.
Aimee’s infectious enthusiasm also encouraged several members of the National Charity League of Lake Travis (of which she is a philanthropy liaison) to participate in the n95 Covers Initiative as cutters and sewers.
There were other impacts from this group as well. After receiving some devastating news that a dear friend had just been diagnosed with cancer, Aimee contacted Gail Hassell who had posted in the Facebook group about being able to use the scraps of materials from the TX n95 Covers Initiative to make port pillows for cancer patients. “It seemed like the perfect way to show my support for my friend in these difficult times,” Aimee said.
Gail explains that port pillows “attach to the seatbelt and the soft pillow goes against the port that is used for chemotherapy. It keeps the seatbelt from rubbing against the port.” Gail immediately mailed out 2 port pillows the following day. Aimee says she will be forever grateful for Gail’s kindness.
If anyone needs a port pillow at no charge, you can contact Gail via Facebook messenger
Thank you Riebold family and friends - you guys are amazing!