The communities of the Copper Corridor have not been exempt from the ravages and changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. Schools have closed, businesses shuttered, work routines changed, all in an effort to find our “new normal”. The Copper Basin area has been hit harder than most with the governor’s stay home executive order coming on top of the ongoing strike at ASARCO.
In Kearny, owners of the Kearny Retail Center (uptown across from the county building) recently toured the area to see the extent of the economic devastation the two events have caused.
Gabby Wagoner with Osselaer Management Group, wrote in an email to Copper Basin News, “During a recent tour of the town, we had a candid conversation with several residents who were part of the mine strike. It was clear these men wanted nothing more than to return to work.
“We wanted to send a message that we cared about them, the town and all who may be struggling at this time. Doing our part to keep the Center, clean, freshly painted and in a good state of repair sends a message that we care about Kearny and this important area of Arizona.”
The center is now receiving a fresh coating of stucco and work should begin soon on the roof.
“We all stand together in doing our part to contribute in making the community stronger for the future,” Wagoner added.
There are others in the community who are doing their part in the ongoing pandemic.
One of these volunteers is Judy Jones. She has made more than 100 masks for people in the area. Some of Norm’s IGA employees are wearing masks she has made.
Judy is a native of the area. She was born in the town of Ray. Sewing comes naturally for her. She learned from her mother when she was in the third grade and has been sewing ever since.
Since there was a need for the masks she went right to work. Her intentions were not to charge, but people insisted that they pay because the masks were hard to come by. Any money she receives, she donates to the Church of the Shepherd Methodist Church.
Other people have provided fabrics and elastic. Beth Burns of Kearny donated lots of fabrics and John Barlett from Mesa, whose mom still lives in Kearny, donated elastic for the masks.
She makes two styles of masks in many different colors and designs. She also makes lap blankets for the veterans hospital.
Judy says she is always looking for something to do.
“I can’t just sit around twiddling my thumbs and watch the paint peel,” she said.
Judy wanted to say that there are others in the community who are making masks. She said she is not the only one.
If you have a talent for sewing and want to help, there are several websites with patterns you can use. Here are a few we found:
If you want to donate fabric, elastic, bias tape, ribbon, etc., contact Judy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.