People help others by making masks


The need for gloves and masks have been increasing over the last month, and it has been even harder to get a hold of such things for people who are not essential workers, so some people have resorted to making their own masks. 

Everyone is finding new and creative ways to come up with their own makeshift masks along with following the CDC recommendations about what cloth should be used.   

I got a pattern off the internet. I have been making them on a sewing machine with a double layer of one hundred percent cotton,” said Mary-Lynn, a Grayslake North student’s grandparent. 

Mask markers have not stopped producing the product for people as it has started to become more common to make your own than going and trying to buy some.  

They’ve definitely been useful to the people that have gotten them from us. Many essential workers aren’t provided masks from their jobs and don’t have the means to get any,” said junior Michelle Szul. 

A lot of the idea arose when they needed to make masks for themselves, but it quickly turned into something bigger as they started to realize they needed to provide others with masks when they have the skill to do so. 

When it became clear that people would need masks, I found patterns and learned how to make them. I have the time, skill, and materials. How could I not?  I cannot keep people safe, but I can make masks that may make them safer or at least feel safe. I have made masks for a lot of different people. I have made masks for family, friends, and co-workers along with their families. I have also made masks for nurses. I have also made children’s masks for the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center,” said social studies teacher Roxanne Bristow. 

So many people have been making their own masks that the available stores have started to run out of the things everyone needs to make them and it is now getting harder for people to get a hold of certain materials. 

I am not a seamstress, so I broke 5 needles, and the stores have sold out of everything as far as needles, elastic and fabric. One of my daughters who lives up north found some fabric and elastic and sent them to me,”  Mary-lynn said. 

All of them hope that their masks are making people feel happy, safe and protected during this hard time. 

I know that people have been very grateful for them, and I know that people are using the masks. So I certainly hope the masks are helpful. I hope at the very least they give people a sense of safety. I have tried to use fun patterns and/or people’s favorite colors to make wearing masks at least more personal. If we need to wear them, the patterns/colors can at least make us smile.I think it has helped me to cope with the current situation. It is something creative and productive that I can spend time doing that will help others. We do not have control over what is happening, but I can make masks to help others,” Bristow said. 

Some mask makers feel that their masks should be making some profit because of all the hard work and material that goes into them. Mary-Lynn is selling her masks for six dollars which includes postage, whereas others feel that they just don’t want to profit off of it. 

I don’t think we’d start a market. People have been taking advantage of the pandemic and started selling the few they would make for prices that are honestly shameful,” Szul said. 

Regardless, they are all people who have decided to make the best out of the situation and make sure other people were provided with something that could help keep others safe.