Teacher Sews, Donates Masks to Nursing Home


Mrs. Bonnie Mallmann has sewn over 2000 masks since the start of the pandemic. Here, she sits at her desk and adds toggles to the ear loops of a mask she gave to a student.

Karin Juhl and Claudia Brown

Throughout the pandemic, many people have started to try out new hobbies as a way to pass the time. Mrs. Bonnie Mallmann, the FACE teacher at CHS, has been spending much of her time sewing masks.

“I started making masks because I felt helpless in this crazy world,” Mrs. Mallmann said. “So I decided I could let it get to me or I could keep busy.”

She has sewn over 2000 masks to date.

Recently, Mrs. Mallmann donated about 80 holiday patterned masks to Willowdale Health Services after seeing a Facebook post asking for donations for the nursing home’s gift exchange.

Ms. Dawn Winkler, the activities director at Willowdale, said, “A lot of the residents liked the pretty designs, and (Mrs. Mallmann’s masks) were much more comfortable than the masks they were originally wearing.

     “We appreciate it, knowing that a bunch of people are going through things during this time. It’s nice to know that others see that our residents are struggling, too.

Not only has Mrs. Mallmann made masks for the nursing home residents, she has also sewn them for any of her family, friends, neighbors or coworkers who needed one.

“My motto is keeping friends and family safe, one mask at a time,” Mrs. Mallmann said.

She has made ice cream patterned masks for the ice cream shop her sister owns in Marshfield, Dr. Seuss print masks for the elementary school teachers and so many more.

Even though Mrs. Mallmann tries to refuse payment for her masks, many still give her money anyway. This helped her buy a new sewing machine when her old one broke, but most money she receives she donates to the local food pantry.

“I was raised in a family who taught me to give,” Mrs. Mallmann said. “I was blessed with the ability to sew, and mask-making is a double reward. I get to do what I enjoy and bring a smile to someone’s face even if I can’t see it behind the mask.