Parents at Jewish preschools in the St. Louis area are engaged in their kids’ development and education, so it’s no surprise that they’ve offered a hand when the congregations need a bit of help.

At B’nai Amoona, a congregation member helped get much-needed personal protection equipment. At Shaare Emeth’s Shirlee Green Preschool, a parent got even more involved. Tracy Speller, who’s no slouch around a sewing machine, offered to make face masks.

“The congregation got the supplies, and I made them at no cost because it’s my temple,” Speller said. “They got fun fabric, like trucks, and ‘Toy Story,’ fun kid-friendly fabrics. I used a pattern with three layers that you can put a filter in.”

The face masks will be used at Shirlee Green Preschool by teachers, staff and children ages 3 and older. Speller started out making the face masks on her old Kenmore sewing machine, the same one she used to make Barbie clothes for her daughter (who is now 19 and headed to college this fall). She said she enjoys making the face masks and giving back to the community.

“My kids went through Shirlee Green Preschool and religious school at Shaare Emeth, and it was such an amazing experience for me as a parent to be able to give back,” she said. “I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse, but I have a sewing machine and able fingers. It just felt like something I could do.”