Angela Grout, Author    

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Creative Works

Buttons Make a Difference- News Article Published

Posted by on April 20, 2020 at 11:15 PM

Title: Buttons Making a Difference  (published in tTHE RECORD, WS, MA)

By AM Grout


During the Covid19 pandemic medical staff must wear a mask at all times. “Eight hours and my ears are really sore, after 16 hours the skin begins to break down from the constant pressure of that elastic.” states a nurse from Western Massachusetts Hospital. The elastic used over the ear to secure the mask quickly creates an open wound. Regardless of the pain staff must continue to protect themselves.

Nurses have found hacks for linking the elastic bands behind their head with a paperclip. Unfortunately it is not full proof, paperclips slip, “dirty hands” are up at the face trying to adjust the slipping mask or the elastic breaks off the mask and the mask is now damaged.

Westside resident Lori Clauss read about a nurse at St Luke’s Urgent Care in Pennsylvania that was looking for a unique headband that had buttons. The mask hooked onto the buttons protecting the ears and as a bonus it would also hold the hair back from the face. Lori was compelled to use her sewing skills to help this woman who was nearly two hundred and fifty miles away.

Lori hunted buttons and got a reply from Steph Wolf of Pennsylvania. Steph was selling a large box of buttons on Facebook Marketplace with a “porch pick up”. Lori knew that option was not going to work and offered to pay for shipment. Steph was so moved by Lori’s charity project that Lori woke up the very next day to a large heavy box overnighted with thousands of buttons. Steph had also included a touching note thanking Lori for letting her be part of something so beautiful.


With the help of her longtime friend Celina Bertera, Lori has completed 20 headbands and shipped them off to the nurse in Pennsylvania free of charge.


Celina and Lori want to help out their own medical community which is suffering the same fate. “We are determined to get as many as we can possibly make to all of these amazing women and men on the front lines. It is our way of thanking and showing appreciation for all that they are doing. Not to mention the feeling you get in your heart knowing you are not completely helpless, being able to show our love and respect to all.”

The charity project was advertised on West Springfield Community on Facebook and they were promptly swamped with requests. The staff at Western Mass Hospital is just one of the many recipients of Lori Clauss’s fashionable help.


Kim Dotiwalla a registered nurse, explained that “these buttons make all the difference; and the headbands holds my hair off my face and prevents it from getting tangled in the elastic bands.”

Lori Clauss, Celina Bertera and Steph Wolf are just three of the many unsung heroes helping to improve a really tough situation. Our area hospitals employee roughly 58,000 people. Do your part on their behalf. They ask you to please stay home.

If you know of someone making a difference- contact





AMGrout is a WS resident and the Author of APRIL RAiN, Dear Baby, Get Out!, and An Angels Journey. You can follow her on Facebook @AuthorAMGrout.


Categories: Creative Word Essays, Video: Television/Radio/Podcast Samples, Short Stories-Realistic Fiction

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