Anne Rybak spent the past 25 years as a supervisor with a sewing company and is putting her sewing skills to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the increase in demand for masks rises, people, such as Rybak, are looking for alternative solutions. 

Rybak is known in her church for her sewing skills and was approached by Holy Eucharist's pastor to make the mask for parishioners. The Ukrainian Catholic church says the masks would be used for Kildonan Horizons residents and folks around the parish.

"I am not making them to make money. I am making them to keep our city healthy," Rybak says.

Rybak says she recently lost her husband and she needed to something with her hands to keep her busy. The current pandemic was a way for her to help Winnipeggers.

So far, Rybak has made over fifty masks but is running out of supplies. She says she has enough fabric but not enough elastic strings.

"The only problem I've run into is the little elastic that comes around the ear, you can not get it anywhere," Rybak says.

She has been searching but because of the closure of many stores, it has become difficult to find.

"I do not know where else to phone because nobody else has that elastic."

The parish says that homemade mask offers limited protection from the virus, but can help.

Recently, the Province of Manitoba said that while homemade masks may not work as well as N95s, they suggest residents use homemade masks and save medical-grade masks for healthcare workers.

The church approached Rybak to sew masks, but also added a how-to video and pattern if others want to join Rybak in the project.

Rybak hopes that if anyone has spare elastics that can be used for facemasks, that they would consider donating them to the Holy Eucharist Church so she can make more masks.