Citizen of the Week: Julia Sanders

As the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made face masks a highly sought after product, some individuals and groups have begun making masks for themselves and others, and Dalton's Julia Sanders is one of those who has stepped up to fill the need.

"She found a need, and she knew she could sew very well," said Dalton's Lyn Dewsnap, who has known Sanders since 2003. "This is her way of giving back."

Face masks have become so difficult to obtain that healthcare workers in many areas are reusing their masks multiple days in a row, according to The Atlantic magazine. "Grocery-store workers, who are at high risk of contracting the virus, have been denied masks for months, (and) everyday people are making their own out of fabric scraps."

Sanders has already crafted thousands of masks, Dewsnap said. "She starts early in the morning and goes until late in the evening."

In fact, "she would do it all night long" if her husband didn't remind her she needs to take some breaks, Dewsnap said with a chuckle. "With these masks, she found her calling."

Sanders has provided masks for first responders and hospitals, usually at no charge, Dewsnap said. Her efforts in this endeavor "have impressed the daylights out of me."

Sanders possesses "a giving heart, not just with the masks," Dewsnap said. For example, she also makes "beautiful dolls," with her Halloween figurines considered "unbelievable."

She's also encouraging to others who are experiencing difficulties, because she "turned her life around" after a dark period, which is how she met Dewsnap, the latter explained. Dewsnap was a counselor at that time, and while working with Sanders, Sanders "took it upon herself to improve her life."

"She embraced living free," Dewsnap said. Sanders "will give of herself all the time."

Sanders "has such a giving heart to everyone," Dewsnap concluded. "I wish I had her qualities."

For her selfless efforts, including taking it upon herself to produce masks for those serving the public during a time of acute need, the Daily Citizen-News names Julia Sanders Citizen of the Week.

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