A 96-Year-Old Hoboken Resident is Sewing Masks to Donate to Hospitals

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In times of crisis, it’s reassuring to see random acts of kindness happening all across the globe. Hudson County has always been known for its dedication to helping the community and the current coronavirus pandemic has yet to stop people from doing good {which can all certainly appreciate}. One Hoboken resident, in particular, is dedicating her time and efforts to helping our first responders. Josie Cemelli, a 96-year-old  Mile Square resident has been sewing masks to donate to hospitals, which are in particular need of supplies. Here’s the full story:

josie cemelli hoboken mask donation news

The Need for Masks

It’s no secret that local hospitals are in dire need of supplies. Just last week, Hoboken’s mayor, Ravi Bhalla, issued an urgent plea “for additional medical resources.” Many hospitals have seen a growing need for ventilators as more patients diagnosed with COVID-19 come in. But an additional, and quite frankly necessary, resource that is needed are masks to cover first responders’ + healthcare workers’ faces while they treat + interact with patients. This is is where Mile Square resident Josie Cemelli comes in.

Josie + Her Mask Making Project

josie cemelli mask making hoboken

^ One of Josie’s masks!

Josie has always been an avid sewer. Her daughter, Marilyn Rotondella, shared with Hoboken Girl that her “mom has been sewing her entire life.” So Josie found out that one of Marilyn’s friends was making masks for her son, a doctor at Hackensack Hospital in Bergen County, Josie knew what she had to do.

“Mom said I’ll help make some masks,” Marilyn shared. And just like that, this Hoboken resident set out on a do-good mission. Josie’s children helped her get the materials and patterns she needed and her work began.

“I love to sew and now I can help others,” Josie explained. Simply put, she was able to combine two of her loves to do something good for the community.

Currently, Josie has finished using all of her supplies {which means more masks} and is waiting for some additional material to make more. The more she can make, the more help our hospitals can receive.

See More: 16 Ways to Help First Responders in Hoboken, Jersey City, + Beyond

About Josie

Now, Josie is no stranger to the Mile Square community or the needs of it. She’s lived in Hoboken her entire life, her daughter told us {ahem, that means 96 years of being a Mile Square local — wow!}. She grew up on 6th and Madison Street and about 20 years ago moved into the senior building on 1st and Bloomfield Street. Her husband was former Hoboken councilman, Sal Cemelli.

Needless to say, given her current efforts,  Josie is really giving back all that she can to the community during a time of crisis, and for that, we are all thankful for.

Read More: 7 Happy Local News Stories to Bring You Some Serious Joy

Other Acts of Kindness

february volunteering hoboken jersey city 2020

Josie isn’t the only Hoboken or Jersey City resident doing good during this critical time of need. Martha’s in Jersey City is giving out coffee on the house to healthcare workers; Jimmy John’s sent sandwiches, bananas, and water to the hardworking ambulance volunteers on the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps.; the owner of El Gordo in JC {Lizeth Morales} is cooking free meals for JC police + hospital workers, and so many more acts of kindness.

Now more than ever our community needs us and we’re grateful to have kind people like Josie and those also listed above who are going above and beyond to do their part.

And if you’re looking to find ways that you can help out, too, check out our list of first responder resources, local businesses resources, and join us and the rest of Hudson County tonight at 7:00PM for a loud applause to thank our healthcare heroes for all the amazing work they’ve been doing + continue to do.

Have another happy news story you want to share?
Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com or send it to us @thehobokengirl on IG!
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Written by:

Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.