Story by: Neile Jones

A local judge is doing her part every day to help take care of her community, but her most recent efforts go beyond the bench.

Chief Judge of The Juvenile Division of The Tulsa County District Court-Martha Carter saw a need and decided to do something – to help her team and others.

Carter says, ‘I think we should all look for things that we can do that would be helpful. So I can make facemask, and so that is something that I can do.”

She made them and then took the extra steps to make sure they were safe to share, “I laundered them, and I sanitized my hands to take them out of the dryer, and I put them in a baggie, and I brought them to our detention staff that serve our Family Justice Center. Our detention staff those are the individuals who work with the young people that we must detain. We make every effort not to detain young people. They don’t belong in detention, but we do have some, and they have to deal with these young people daily, and I wanted them to have something protective for them and also to protect the young people.”

Alondo Edwards is a staff member at the Tulsa County Family for Juvenile Justice and says it meant a lot to everyone working there, “We came into work there was this bundle of mask in there, so I ask the staff where these came from and they said Judge Carter had made masks for the staff that is doing direct care. You know the sort of hands-on intensive work with the kids, and she wanted everybody to have one just in case. To know that our Chief Judge was thinking about us in that way and cared enough with her own two hands to go ahead and make these it was huge, and it made everybody feel really, really happy.”

And Judge Carter isn’t done, “He sees children, and he has no facemask, so I’m finishing his this weekend and will be dropping them by for him on Monday. And then others for family members and along the way as I find other people who need them. I don’t have all day every day because I’m trying to do my job as well, but I can do what I can do on weekends and in the evenings.”

Since we first talked on April 3, 2020, she’s already delivered those masks to the local doctor. Her original sewing machine, which was more than 30 years old, broke down. But now she has a new one which you saw in some of that video, so she’s back up and running again.

And today April 14, 2020, the ‘Tulsa County Quilters,’ also known as Dana Tindell, Victoria Wilson, and Thora Cohea, delivered 50 masks for the juveniles. Leaders say this will also make a big difference.

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