Retired Mesa nurse gives back with masks The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Retired Mesa nurse gives back with masks

Retired Mesa nurse gives back with masks


Nancy Crenshaw may be a retired nurse, but she’s not letting that or the pandemic keep her from pitching in.

The 77-year-old Mesa woman is busily making masks and so far has sewn 600 for Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital.

Crenshaw has a pretty basic philosophy for making the masks for the two Mesa hospitals.

“I feel happy giving. It makes me feel good when I give back,” she said.

Giving her time to help others is what Crenshaw has enjoyed for more than 17 years as a long-time volunteer working at the hospitals’ information desks.

When that came to a grinding halt in late March, Crenshaw and other Banner Health volunteers were asked to stop volunteering until further notice for safety purposes.

But when she learned of the comfort mask shortage, Crenshaw saw an opportunity to continue to help others even though she physically could not be at the hospitals to volunteer.

Inside a bedroom of her home, Crenshaw has been working tirelessly, producing hundreds of cloth masks.

“I can’t stop,” she said.

She’s even using her own money to help pay for cloth and elastic and has enlisted her family to help. Initially, Crenshaw used donated materials from the hospital, such as outdated uniforms, to make the masks.

The Michigan native knows all too well what it’s like working on the frontlines of a hospital.

Crenshaw says not only does it give her a great feeling to help her fellow health care providers, but they also appreciate her every time she drops off a new batch of masks.

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