Prior to the pandemic, Stephanie Harrison kept busy by working a full-time position as a senior loan underwriter at Natco Credit Union and spent many hours running her own business, Stephanie Harrison Photography. Stephanie’s job duties as a senior loan underwriter could be completed remotely and therefore, she was among the Natco team members who began to work remotely in March. As a business owner, she also temporarily closed her photography business. For eight weeks, she didn’t leave her home.
The credit union purchased supplies to sew masks for staff. As someone who was used to being busy all the time, Stephanie volunteered to sew. She continued making masks for her family using fabric she had previously purchased for other projects.
She created a one-man assembly process and began to sew for two hours each morning before work and spent most evening sewing. Through her passion to help others, she offered masks to anyone for free. Some masks were donated to local businesses including the Wayne County Health Department and Fairview Elementary school where all three of her boys attended several years ago.
As she completed masks, she would post on Facebook and allow people to claim the masks they wanted. Masks were placed inside baggies and taped to her front door for pick up. Some people would place money back in the baggie and retape it to her front door. This allowed her to purchase more supplies. Others donated supplies such as fabric and elastic. Stephanie continued to purchase supplies on her own as well.
To date, Stephanie has sewn and donated over 400 masks for adults and children in the local area. Once restrictions on business began to lift in early July, she reopened her photography business. Her available time to sew has been reduced significantly. When time allows, she still makes masks and offers them for free.
Stephanie is a shining example of Natco’s mission statement – Helping people live better lives and the credit union industry’s philosophy – People helping people. She was presented with a Credit Union Philosophy award during Q2 2020 to recognize her project of sewing masks.