Martin, GA — Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains you will find a Nature-Based Therapeutic Boarding School called Shepherd’s Hill Academy. At this school, students arrive to heal from the various issues of life including mental health issues, behavioral issues, trauma, substance abuse, and much more.

However, during this national pandemic of Covid-19, students have also discovered the healing power of giving back. The students at Shepherd’s Hill Academy are excited to be volunteering to cut and sew masks for healthcare workers on the front lines within the local hospital system.

Art and Sustainable Development Teacher Kelly Deal is working directly with the students to oversee this project. “Lexie, our school nurse who also works at the Stephens County Hospital, told me that the local hospitals were asking for masks. She invited me to a group on Facebook called Covid Covers – Sewing Face Masks in North Georgia – Habersham, Rabun Stephens. People all over the state are coming together to sew masks for our public servants. Over the last week, the group has organized— creating needs lists, resource lists, and lists of people willing to sew. There are now drop points to pick up and deposit masks all over the state!”

The students and staff of Shepherd’s Hill Academy jumped at the idea to create masks for these front line staff to help offer protection during this time. “Our girl’s class is cutting the fabric, constructing the masks and sewing them together. The girls have different tasks. Some are ironing the fabric, while others are cutting pieces. Some are constructing by hand or with a sewing machine.”

Marketing Director Lane Taylor noted, “It’s amazing to see the community come together around this project! Ms. Merry Carol Scott, who has a sewing room in Toccoa, GA, has donated fabric to our students to help us create the masks.” There are many other contributors as well such as Erin Dunken of Demorest, GA, who provided pre-cut fabric from Big Duck Canvas of Winder, Georgia to our students. 5 Sewing machines, as well as funds for additional materials, have also been donated. “The amount of support and the number of individuals across the state eager to serve is a blessing. Seeing everyone come together, coordinate and accomplish this goal is such a positive light during this time.”

The team at SHA is working with a group that has patterns and instructions from sites specifically requesting the masks. They have to be made to spec and include space for HEPA filters. Masks also vary in sizes designed specifically for men, women, and children.

“I am really excited to be apart of something so important. I can’t believe we will be helping the nurses to help other people. This is so amazing!” Noted one Shepherd’s Hill Academy student. She was beaming. Another student said, “My mom works in a hospital,I can’t wait to give her a mask that I made. I hope it will keep her safe!”

Amid this crisis, Shepherd’s Hill Academy is excited to be able to make an impact within the community. The thoughts and prayers of the teachers, staff, and students are with those working tirelessly day and night to keep our community safe and healthy.

Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a 501(c)3 faith-based therapeutic boarding school in Martin, GA serving teens ages 12-17. SHA offers a rustic adventure setting, fully accredited academics, and therapeutic component. Learn more by visiting or contact us at 706-703-4188.