HAMILTON, NJ --  Hamilton's Bartholomew family normally gets together with their Aunt Liane every week.  But, with the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Liane has been working non-stop as an emergency room nurse at Robert Wood Johnson-Barnabus Hospital in Hamilton so the family has not been together in a while. 

When 12-year-old Mia heard her Aunt Liane talk about how much wearing personal protective equipment like face masks made her and her hospital colleagues sore, Mia wanted to find a way to help.   She saw posts on Pinterest how to use cloth headbands and buttons to make special headbands to hold masks secure while relieving the pressure on the ears.   

Mia enlisted the help of mom, Sylvanna, to source cloth headbands and special buttons they found with the words "Hand Made with Love."  She and her younger sister, Ella, got to work.  And so the "Sewing with Love" project was created.  

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With Aunt Liane as their first product tester, and seven-year-old brother Ascher as "quality control," the Barholomew family has provided cloth headbands to hundreds at the hospital and nursing homes.   They also enlisted Mia's Ancient Order of Hibernian soccer teammates in the project with the help of Coach Debbie Carr.  

Just two of the Hibernian soccer teams have so far come together to work on approximately 500 headbands.   Next week, the teams will be sewing together on Zoom

Mia also was encouraged to receive a call of support from her principal at Grice Middle School, David Innocenzi, that he was proud of the work she and her sister are doing. 

"This sewing has really opened up conversations with my children when we would normally be rushing around all day," said mom Sylvanna.  "We are sitting down as a family to help others facing this crisis." 

As medical professionals will need to wear possibly two layers of masks and a face shield, the need to ease the soreness of them will continue as will the girls continue to sew buttons on headbands to provide a little bit of relief.  

To help the "Sewing with Love" project with materials or participate in sewing, contact Sylvanna Bartholomew at barthos06@gmail.com

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