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Estle Harlan and Carla Francis turning over 150 face masks to Shantel Hostler of the Siletz Tribe, with 350 more to be completed by the end of May.

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Thanks to the volunteer efforts of local seamstresses, 500 face masks are being contributed to the Confederated Tribe of the Siletz Indians.

Lincoln City Rotary Club is funding materials for making the masks, and Rotarian Carla Francis has been putting her sewing machine to work for the local tribe. The first 150 masks were turned over May 15 to Shantel Hostler, Board Member, Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society, by Francis and Estle Harlan, Executive Secretary of the Rotary Club and coordinator for this project with the Siletz Tribe.

About a month ago, Francis contacted a childhood friend of hers who is apart of the Navajo tribe and works for the Health Department for the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona. Francis was in the process of making face masks for the Samaritan Foundation in Lincoln City and had posted a picture of them on Facebook.

Her friend messaged her and spoke of the losses they were experiencing with their elders due to the virus, so Francis decided to go big and make 500 masks for them. But to make that many quickly she reached out to her community for assistance.

From Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian Church she received a large donation of fabric and two volunteers to help sew the masks as well as a funds to help pay for supplies and postage to ship masks to the Navajo Nation. She also contacted her Rotary Club, Lincoln City Rotary, and asked if the Club would be interested in helping with the project.

They enthusiastically agreed but wanted to keep the Club’s support local and asked if face masks could be made for the Siletz Tribe.

Estle Harlan was instrumental in connecting with the Siletz Tribe and learning of their Tribal Elders’ need for masks. It was agreed that 500 face masks would be made for the Siletz Tribe, and that Lincoln City Rotary would pay for the materials. Additional volunteers to sew the masks came from friends with the American Sewing Guild and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

“We are on target for making and distributing 1000 face masks by the end of May,” Francis said. “500 will go to the Confederated Tribe of the Siletz and 500 will go to the Navajo Nation.”

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