WESTMINSTER, Vt. – As our state, nation, and the world copes with the daily reminder of how the COVID-19 virus is affecting us all, community members across Windham County look for ways to help and support their friends, neighbors, and local businesses. One such way, with the current shortage of professional-grade facemasks, is the creating and distributing of this all-important protective gear.
Rhonda Lockerby-Palmer, of Vermont Creations in Westminster, is one such resident who has taken on the task of creating these protective masks for local businesses and individuals. Rhonda launched Vermont Creations nearly two years ago, as crafting became a form of therapy after the loss of her son Logan.
“I lost my youngest son to suicide nearly four years ago,” Rhonda said. “And while getting ready for a ‘Walk Out of Darkness’ event to raise awareness and funding for suicide prevention and mental health, my sister and I created t-shirts for ‘Team Logey Bear.’”
Then, as her crafting hobby starting growing, Rhonda purchased better equipment a few months later. “I mostly create home décor items, holiday decorations, gifts, and customized t-shirts and hats. I started sharing some of these items and there was some interest from friends and acquaintances to purchase them, and projects just started growing from there.”
Fast forward to the present and the sudden need for these protective masks throughout our community, from hospitals and businesses, to friends, family and other community members. “I saw several ads and posts about hospitals, facilities, and the community in need. I don’t really do much sewing but after reading several sets of directions and watching tutorials I decided to give it a try, and it has really taken off.”
One such business in need was a local internet service and telecommunications company. Kelly Newman-Milliken, a supervisor with the company, was in serious need of protective masks for her crew. “I was having trouble finding masks, and my sister-in-law suggested I contact Vermont Creations,” Kelly said. “I placed an order with Rhonda, and she had masks ready for me within a couple days.”
“I have made masks for local businesses, as well as many friends, family, and other community members, and it has kept me quite busy. We have an amazing community that rallies to support others, which I have experienced in good times and in bad. I’m happy that I can play a small part to help others.”
Vermont Creations (802) can be reached on Facebook or by email at email@example.com.