Oakland Park Kiwanis and Locals Team Up to Make Masks

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is heartwarming to see our community band together to help people in need. The Oakland Park Kiwanis have joined forces with local families to tirelessly sew and deliver masks to medical professionals and essential workers. The Osman Family, Maritza Prince, and Sandy Melillo have dedicated hours of sewing to ensure that our local heroes are protected. Oakland Park Kiwanis’ latest Facebook post states that 547 masks have been delivered not only throughout Oakland Park, but also to various hospitals in need around the country, including Alaska, Chicago, Michigan, and Georgia.

The Osman Family making masks in their kitchen, not pictured is their daughter who helps to measure and cut material.

Production Needs to Go On: Lack of Material Stops Kiwanis

Production has unfortunately been halted due to a lack of pellon. Pellon is the material used as a filter for the masks. It is needed to make the masks medical grade for hospital use. Normally, pellon can be found at craft stores such as Jo-Anne Fabrics. With the onset of further COVID-19 cases, there has been a shortage of pellon. If you have access to pellon, please donate what you can to Oakland Park Kiwanis Foundation.

Sandy Melillo, member of the Oakland Park Kiwanis, in her jammies sewing masks.

Masks Handmade by Angels

Sandy Melillo, Oakland Park Kiwanis President Rick Melillo’s wife, and a member herself has been sewing tirelessly. Sandy made the first mask on March 20th . Photographs of her medical mask production were posted to the Oakland Park Kiwanis Facebook page and two more sewers joined the cause.

The Osman Family have been making up to 50 masks per day. Each member of the family has a role in helping out, Vicki is an avid sewer, Donald helps with the ironing and Kandi cuts fabric and helps assemble the masks.

Maritza Prince is a professional seamstress and has joined the efforts to produce more masks. Within just two weeks, this team of three sewers, with help from family, have been able to sew 350 handmade masks. Each homemade mask takes 15 to 20 minute to make.

Masks Delivered Beyond Oakland Park

In 3 weeks,547 masks have been delivered around Oakland Park as well as throughout the United States. Production will continue once materials, specifically pellon, become available. So far masks have been used by: Light of the World Clinic, Broward House, Holy Cross Hospital & Cancer Center, Over Easy Cafe, Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill, Dr. John Shih Family Physicians in Georgia, Accucare Physical Therapy, Serenity Pediatrics in Michigan, Chicago Memorial Hospital, and more.

Oakland Park Kiwanis does great things for the residents of Oakland Park and now their generosity has touched lives across the country. 

If you want donate to Oakland Park Kiwanis send a check or money order to :

Oakland Park Kiwanis Foundation
P.O. Box 24931,
Oakland Park , Florida 33307

To learn more about Oakland Park Kiwanis and how you can volunteer visit their Facebook page.

Be a part of Oakland Park online!


*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Annie Knott

Annie Knott

Annie Knott is a South Florida Native and is proud to call Oakland Park her home. She is the mother to 4 young children. Annie has taught gymnastics, dance, art classes, and directed summer camps for over 15 years. She currently teaches nature-based guided play classes in the community. If Annie isn’t attending one of Oakland Park’s fun-filled events with her family, she can be found gardening in her exotic fruit orchard, paddle boarding on the Middle River, or photographing nature & wildlife.

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