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Stack of colorful fabric facemasks

Amway employee sews masks for essential workers in her community

With so many of us being asked to draw on our strengths during the Coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t take a second look to find helping, caring people in the Amway community.

Annette Shade is just that, she’s a helper – in her work at Amway, and in her life as a dog-rescuer, community builder and crafter. Annette has been an Amway Customer Service voice for more than 28 years. She works as a comprehensive operator – helping IBOs and customers place orders, track shipments, reset accounts, answer questions and address any other needs.

It was in conversation this week with friends at her local vet’s office that she learned the team couldn’t source facemasks for the office due to critical shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic. Annette immediately jumped into action to help with the clinic’s need while indirectly helping the broader healthcare community by not placing increased demand on precious supplies.

“I found a free pattern right on the internet and just started cutting and sewing using supplies I already had,” she said. She dropped off masks to the veterinary clinic and is already busy sewing more for the medical community and first responders who are on the front lines of the fight to contain COVID-19.

“I was taught from a young age to help others and reach out. Always help when there’s a need,” Annette said. She has several friends and family members that are nurses, first responders, paramedics, firefighters and corrections officers, and wants to help the community stay safe.

“It’s just what I love to do. I’m part of our local ‘Get ‘Er Done Sewing Circle,’” Annette said. “A group of us get together once a month and bring unfinished sewing projects, good conversation and a potluck.”

Word has gotten around that she is a skilled sewer and demand for her products has grown.

Annette has made dozens of masks and has orders for dozens more. She’s placed orders for more supplies and will sew on to meet the needs of her community.

Annette is an inspiration to our Amway family. Like so many, she’s combining passion with purpose and it’s truly making an impact. Thank you, Annette, and on behalf of your Amway family, keep sewing.