Helping Hands: Sewing Face Masks in Support of Others

Written By: Lauren Hynicka, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past three weeks, I have been making fabric face masks. To date, I have made 87 and will make more than 100 by the time I complete all of the requests I have received. The first 20 masks that I made were donated to the THRIVE infectious disease clinic. I have donated masks to a patient from my clinic, neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family members. I have had numerous mask recipients request to reimburse me for the mask supplies. Instead of accepting these funds, I have requested that the recipients contribute to the School of Pharmacy’s Student Emergency Fund.

The fabric I have been sewing with has come from two places. I have been able to support a local small fabric shop in Lauraville called Domesticity. I have also received a fabric donation from my neighbors and friends, Paul and Colleen Mercier. Their son Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2019. He was planning to sew change purses with the fabric, but lost his battle with leukemia in December 2019. I have been sewing masks in his honor and plan to make a collage with pictures from all of the people who have received masks made from his fabric. This is particularly meaningful, as he would have turned 11 on April 23. This is my small contribution during this tough time.

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