By Elise Marlett, Current Staff
As of Tuesday, Diane Malicki has sewn an estimated 75 face masks for her neighbors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
After initially making a dozen for her family, Malicki created an announcement on the subdivision’s private Facebook page offering her masks to the Prairie Meadow community for no charge.
Malicki says that her position of safety in this pandemic is what motivates her to help those who are in need.
“I’ve always felt like my life has not been a struggle like it has been for a lot of people,” Malicki said. “A lot of people don’t like to sew or don’t know how to sew and because it’s hard to access (materials) because of the pandemic. I thought, I’ll throw it out there that I sew (masks) and would be glad to make them. I have fabric left over from my stash, no cost for anyone.”
Heidi Sternig has received four masks from Malicki and mentions that although she does not know Malicki personally, her service to the neighborhood is admirable.
“I was excited and it made me realize how inherently good human beings are,” Sternig said. “She made an offer out of the kindness of her heart to help others during a time when we all need to be thinking about the good of all. I was extremely thankful and grateful for her kindness.”
“It made me realize how inherently good human beings are.”
– Heidi Sternig, Prairie Meadow resident
Brenda Henschel, a resident of the Prairie Meadow subdivision and Spanish teacher at West Bend East High School, has also received a mask from Malicki.
“I was touched by her generosity and very thankful that she reached out to our little community in Prairie Meadow Subdivision,” Henschel said.
As for the future, Malicki hopes that this pandemic teaches others about the importance of empathy.
“Care about your neighbor, care about people in general,” Malicki said. “Consider what other people are going through.”
Sternig agrees, and says that a focus on kindness is crucial for the success of the country.
“I hope we embrace kindness and respect more than we have ever before,” Sternig said. “Keeping one another safe will be essential to our success and growth as a nation. Keeping that at the forefront will hopefully prevent future pandemics.”
Henschel says that she hopes the pandemic will teach society the value of supporting others in times of need.
“We need to always remember how everyone was there for each other during this time,” Henschel said.
(Photo courtesy of Diane Malicki.)