When the phone rang one day in 1979 asking her to become a board member…
As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, Jean Plunkett saw a need for handmade face masks in the community. So, she decided to sew face masks and donate them to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
“I had a friend who sent me a card that encouraged me to begin making masks,” Plunkett said. “Anybody who sews has a stock of fabric somewhere, so I went to my stock and started making them.”
After sending a few masks to her friend, Plunkett wanted to begin donating them. As she considered what organization to give to, her connection to Kim Vesey, general manager and executive vice president of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, sparked her interest. Plunkett was a former teacher of Vesey. For 34 years, Plunkett taught home economics at Mad River Schools and continued to serve as a substitute teacher until five years ago.
“I lost my grandson this past spring,” Plunkett said. “Making face masks has helped me work through my grief over the loss of my grandson.”
To date, Plunkett has made more than 500 pleated masks with filter pockets and wire-shaped nose pieces for Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. She plans to make more. She has received generous donations from friends to help her continue making more face masks for the not-for-profit organization.
“We are thankful for Mrs. Plunkett’s talents and generosity,” Vesey said. “It’s the support we receive from people like Mrs. Plunkett and so many others in our community that we are able to provide superior care and superior services to the patients and families we are privileged to serve.”
Plunkett also has donated masks to the members of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, in the Dayton area. She also sent a shipment of masks to an adopted chapter in Michigan.
Outside of masks, Plunkett is working on a queen-sized T-shirt quilt for the father of her grandson. The quilt is made of shirts from his time playing soccer in high school. She also is making two more quilts for her other son and her daughter.
“When I was teaching, I always told my students, ‘When you’re down and out, do something for somebody else,’” Plunkett said.
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, please call 937.256.9507, ext. 3314, or visit our website.