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UW-Stout Student Aims To Sew 2,000 Masks for Local Schools

Megan Otte turned her passion for sewing into a community project

Rebecca Mennecke |

OH SEW SWEET. A local UW-Stout student saw a need for face masks at the elementary school level, and so she started sewing.
OH SEW SWEET. A local UW-Stout student saw a need for face masks at the elementary school level, and so she started sewing.

Megan Otte has been sewing since she was five years old. Over the summer, she put her threading skills to good use by sewing face masks to donate to local hospitals. “When I started it, I wanted to do something that I could give back to the community, so that was my way,” Otte said. “Sewing is a relaxing thing. It’s my thing away from school.”

SEWING IS A RELAXING THING. IT'S MY THING AWAY FROM SCHOOL.

Megan Otte

UW-Stout student

This fall, she reached out to the Dunn County Health Department, who guided her to the United Way of Dunn County, which conveyed that local elementary schools alone need more than 2,000 face masks. So, Otte geared up her sewing machine and received enough fabric and elastic donations to make more than 600 face masks so far.

She organized a sewing group on campus, which meets every Monday from 6:30-8pm. Since UW-Stout, like other UW System schools, planned to go entirely virtual after Thanksgiving break, Otte will finish many of the face masks without the help of her other sewing pals.

But nothing can stop Otte from sewing.

“My sewing machine has been set up on my desk for the last few weeks,” she said, “and I’ve been doing homework on the floor.”