Twins sew masks for health workers

Friday, April 3, 2020
Janice Womble is quite proud of what her two twin granddaughters, Addison and Ashton Riddle, have done with their free time since they've been homebound due to the pandemic; they've been on a mission to make face masks.
Submitted photo

Grandmother Janice Womble is claiming some major bragging rights; her twin grandchildren, Addison and Ashton Riddle, have been sewing face masks recently for health workers in her Shelbyville home.

The 10-year-old twins say they’re on a mission during the coronavirus pandemic. They encourage others to make the masks which have become so vital for those working in hospitals and at test stations since Tennessee became a part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Womble reveals that their dad, Jon Riddle, is a Rutherford County paramedic. They wanted to help their him, since he’s on the front lines and they have some free time on their hands. Social distancing, however, keeps them at bay from his job site, so they decided making health workers masks is something they could contribute while staying at their grandmother’s house.

“Since they are not able to be with him due to the risks, they wanted to ‘do their part’ to help out,” Womble notes. “They began making the face masks last week and have some to give their dad who will distribute them in Rutherford County.”

As of Wednesday, Rutherford County’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases is at 86, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Bedford County stepped up a bit to 4 confirmed cases.

The twins’ mother, Katie Riddle, is an East Side teacher on hiatus as Bedford County schools are closed, due to the coronavirus, until April 24. In addition to her online teaching duties, she’s made the girls matching t-shirts which feature the words: “We stand and fight COVID-19.”

While working on the sewing machine, of course with the help of their grandmother, the twin sisters create somewhat of a picture of this generation’s Rosie Riveters. (The name is synonymous for women working in factories and shipyards to help out during World War II.)

“My sister, Belinda Riddle, a UT Extension agent in Coffee County, gave the twins the instructions on how to make the face masks,” says Womble.

It’s certain medical workers in this area will think of the twins while they wear the masks; the 10-year-olds have personalized each one with their initials.

With a wide smile indicative of any proud grandparent, Womble says, “I am so proud of them for ‘doing their part’ . . . helping out their dad.”