Shanti Dickson - Sewing 4 good

I wanted to get involved somehow after the Covid-19 pandemic struck California in such a big way. I was sewing face masks and giving them out randomly. Then someone at my church said there was a call for people to sew and help hospital and front line workers. My heart leapt! Then I was connected to Shanti Dickson, who tirelessly and instantly came up with the idea of gathering a troop of volunteers who would sew hospital gowns. She learned that not enough PPE was given to doctors and nurses and that the pipeline was inefficient. The were wearing black garbage bags instead.
Horribly upset by this, she decided to start her own volunteer organization from the ground up. Thus came about the birth of In about a couple of weeks, she got 200 volunteers by word of mouth. I became one of them.

She is making a huge difference in saving the lives of hundreds of workers and their families as the team sews re-useable hospital gowns. These are donated for free to any group that requests these gowns.

What other characteristics has your Hero demonstrated to support this nomination?

She is positive, energetic, and thoughtful. She has provided instant answers for those of us with detailed questions on what to do with excess fabric to questions about how to sew the collar. She will send emails of encouragement to the team, and now that it has been a volunteer effort since March, you can imagine how surprised we are to still be sewing gowns. She will continue the fight to deliver gowns until this pandemic is over. A few volunteers have dropped out, but she rallies on, and I admire her for her fortitude because it is a full-time job, and she is a mom with kids of her own.

Describe the impact of your Hero on a local, regional, national, and/or international level.

She has delivered over 600 reusable hospital gowns to the Jamaica Hospital in New York, to the Mills-Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame, Calif., and gowns in Santa Clara to local social workers. The impact is phenomenal as it creates a big smile on the faces of those who receive the gowns. Often times, the gowns come with cards to encourage the workers, and through the photos we see on the newsletter, we volunteers are all encouraged.

Is there anything else about your Hero that you would like the committee to consider?

She is a visionary, for she sees this as an opportunity for all people to become involved. People can donate money, yes, but families can get together to write cards, folks sheltered in place can take out their old sewing machines and make a contribution by stitching the gowns together, others can cut the patterns out onto the fabric, and teens can come out and help count the gowns and load them into the vans for delivery. What she is doing can be replicated by communities all over the world, and I hope that through receiving an award that other cities can offer up their own chapter of As you can read further about Shanti, you will be encouraged and feel so glad that an ordinary stay-at-home mom can do extraordinary things when it is meant to be! See this article: