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Modern-day Rosies

JoAnn Gregoli always thought it was a happy coincidence that she was connected to Rosie the Riveter through her son-in-law’s grandmother Mary Doyle Keefe, who modeled for Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1943 painting. Little did JoAnn know, she herself would inspire a movement of modern-day Rosies.

A resident of Sparta, NJ, JoAnn has two children working on the front lines and learned from her daughter, a physician assistant, that healthcare workers lacked basic personal protective equipment (PPE) and weren’t prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. As an international event planner and owner of Elegant Occasions, JoAnn’s first instinct was to start immediately organizing and mobilizing others to help make masks and then transport them to the hospitals where they were most needed. Because PPE is in such short supply, the hand-sewn masks are being used by doctors and nurses treating non-COVID-19 patients and as covers for N95 masks to increase their longevity.

Photo: The New York Times

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Calling all Sewing Angels

JoAnn shared a GoFundMe page on Facebook, and the movement quickly took off. Her call to action inspired friends including her former client Christine Preston of Madison, NJ, who shared it on her own community pages. In less than a week, the two women had enlisted more than 150 volunteers to sew masks, cut fabric, and donate supplies of all kinds. The movement now includes more than 475 volunteers and has spread across the country.

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Our impact

To date, Sewing Angels volunteers have made more than 65,000 masks and 20,000 scrub caps that have been distributed to more than 150 hospitals, medical facilities, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, shelters, community organizations and nonprofit organizations across the country. See our list below.

Who we are supporting

Andover Subacute Center

Archangel Raphael Mission (ARM)

Atlantic Mobile Health

Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute

Bayada Home Healthcare

Bayshore Medical Center (Hackensack)

Bergen County Dialysis

Boston Children’s Hospital

Bridges Outreach (Summit & Newark)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brightview Senior Living and Hospice

Camden School Lunch Program

Campassus Hospice

Center for Great Expectations

Celebration Nursing Home (Florida)

Chatham EMS Squad

Chatham Boro Fire Department

Cheshire Home

Chilton Medical Center

Childrens Hospital Colorado (Colorado Springs)

Childrens Hospital Colorado (Aurora)

Christ Hospital (Jersey City)

City of Orange Community Services

Clara Maass Hospital (Belleville)

Coney Island Hospital (Brooklyn)

Communities in Cooperation (Newark & Roselle)

Community Coordinated Childcare (Union City)

Convent Avenue Baptist Church (NYC)

Cooper Hospital Camden

Daughters of Israel Home

Dover General (ER)

Daytop Crawford House

Duke University Hospital (Durham, NC)

Edison Community Center (Edison)

Elizabeth Coalition

Elizabethport Presbyterian Center

Family Promise

Franklin Lab Corp (Long Valley)

Garden Terrace Nursing Home

Genesis Center (Providence, RI)

Green Village Fire Department

Hackensack Hospital


Hoboken General

Holy Name Medical Center (Teaneck)

In Your Hands Foundation

Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges

JFK Medical Center

Jersey City Medical Center

Johns Hopkins

Joi’s Angels (East Orange)

Josephine’s Place : A Space for Women

Juniper Village Assisted Living

Kankakee County Training Center

Karen Ann Quinlan Center (Andover)

Kingwood Medical Center (Houston)

Lehigh Valley Medical Center (PA)

Lyons VA Hospital

Madison Animal Hospital

Madison Pharmacy

Madison Seniors

Madison Senior Housing

Madison Senior Shopping Network

Massachusetts General Hospital

Meals for Chatham Students in Need

Meals for Madison Students in Need

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Mercy Hospital (Pittsburgh)

Ministerio el Sol (Jersey City)

Morristown Medical Center

Mt. Sinai Hospital (NYC)

Navajo Nation

New Bridge Medical Center

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Newton Medical Center

New Jersey Black Women Physicians Group

NJ Citizen Action (Newark)

New York University Hospital (NYC)


NYU Langone (NYC)

NYU School of Medicine

Ocean Inc.

Overlook Medical Center

Pillar Continuum

Pine Acres Nursing Home

Prevention Links (Elizabeth)

Pride Center of New Jersey

Raritan Bay Medical Center

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Santa Clarita Hospital

Santa Clara County Medical Association

Sophia Seminary – Ukrainian Cultural Center

St. Barnabas Hospital

St. Clare’s Hospital (Denville)

St. Elizabeth’s Convent

St. Joseph’s Hospital (Patterson)

Strengthen Our Sisters Women’s Shelter

Summit Medical Group

Summit Medical Group Cancer Center

Sunrise House (Newton)

Sunrise Assisted Living

Tom’s River Community Medical Center

Trinitas Medical Center

United Way Central Jersey – Elijah’s Promise

University Hospital (Newark)

University Hospital (Jersey City)

USS Nimitz 50 black masks

Yale New Haven

VA NY Harbor Healthcare System

Valley Hospital (Ridgewood)

Villa Walsh Sisters

Walgreen’s Pharmacy (Madison)

Women Rising

Zufall Health