Susan Tague produced dozens of masks for the Norridge PD
In response to COVID-19, Norridge resident Susan Tague was making masks for family and friends, as well as offering them to health care workers.
However, she felt a calling to go beyond that, and wanted to produce masks for first responders.
She checked in with the Norwood Park fire department, who thanked her for the offer, but stated the department was mandated to wear the masks they were issued.
Then, she asked the Norridge police department if they could use masks, and they responded positively.
“They were ecstatic that somebody was offering to donate masks to them”, Tague said.
She wanted to make dozens of masks for the PD, but Tague had been laid off from her oncology and hematology job prior to the COVID-19 epidemic.
As a result, Tague, her husband, and their two children were living off only her husband’s income. Finances were tight, limiting the number of masks she could produce.
That’s when she decided to post a request for donations on a local Facebook group, where she received contributions of funds, and 19 home-made masks made by others.
Tague used the money donated to buy more thread, fabric, elastic and copper wire.
She had to be creative to obtain the materials needed to produce the masks, as the raw materials were in high demand.
For the copper wiring, she bought lamp cord from Norridge Ace Hardware, removing the plastic covering, and utilizing the individual copper strands in the masks.
Tague and her mother produced 45 masks in patriotic stars and colors. In total, nearly 70 were delivered to the Norridge PD this week.
The Norridge police department posted photos of the masks on their Facebook page, posing with Tague’s son.
Asked why she went out of her way to ensure Norridge’s first responders had masks, Tague said she had a “Rosie the Riveter” vibe.
“I have a drive to want to help in a situation or a crisis”, Tague says.
It goes back to her grandmother during World War II producing war materials to aid the war effort.
“I felt that ‘Rosie the Riveter’ feeling, where I wanted to pitch in to do something that could be useful.”, she said.
“Or maybe ‘Suzie the Seamstress'”, she added with a chuckle.