by Terry Rogers
Brynn String and Mylee Wilkie are 12-year old students who share the same interests. For several years, Brynn has been creating scrunchies which are sold at her dance studio, TADA, which is owned by her mother, Aimee. When the dance studio had to close in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Brynn and Mylee put their sewing skills to use in order to help the people on the front lines dealing with the virus.
“My grandmother sent me video that showed how to make fabric masks,” Brynn said. “It looked really easy so I started making some and sent the video to Mylee. My mom posted it on her Facebook page and it went crazy.”
The masks the girls are making are designed to be worn over N95 masks which are in short supply. They are made of fabric and elastic which can be taken home and washed so that the critical N95 masks can be used more than once. Brynn described them as a “cover for a regular mask.”
“We get up each day and start sewing,” Mylee said. “While we are sewing, we FaceTime each other just to chat and keep each other company. We make between four and five each day but the orders keep coming in.” Brynn explained that people order the masks through her mother, Aimee, or through Mylee’s mom, Lisa.
“It has been crazy how many orders we are getting,” Aimee said. “Today, Lisa and I decided to sit down and try to organize our shipping and ordering process because it is getting out of hand. We are trying to ship out ten orders per day. We have sent the masks to Nanticoke, the Dedicated to Women organization and Carlisle Fire Company is asking for an order.”
Aimee and Lisa say that the job of creating the mask is growing to the point that the two 12-year old girls simply can’t keep up. They are asking anyone with sewing skills to contact them and volunteer their services. The girls plan to continue making the masks until the crisis is over.
Although the girls had material and elastic due to the scrunchie business, they are accepting donations of those items as well. Brynn said that her grandmother had given her some fabric that she has been using as well. They are running low on ¼-inch elastic and are asking anyone who may have a supply to donate it to their cause. They have also set up a GoFundMe for cash donations toward the project.
“Anyone who can sew should please message us,” Aimee said. “The masks are simple to make. We are happy to pick up masks from local seamstresses and happy to receive mailed masks from those that are farther away. Any first responders who need help should also reach out to us via Facebook.”
Aimee said that there have been so many positive stories shared with them about what the girls are doing. Every mask is created and sent to those in need free of charge. The moms have been posting thank you’s to their donors, sponsors and the seamstresses who have stepped up to help. On Thursday, March 26, Aimee shared a story that seems to be a growing theme for the girls.
“Today, I was running around to drop off elastic and pick up masks,” Aimee posted. “While I was out, I stopped at the Milford Post Office to send out more masks. I started chatting with the post office worker about what I was sending out and when it came time to pay, he told me to put my wallet away. He personally paid for the shipping and said he wanted to encourage the girls! I am so sorry I did not get his name. I was pretty overcome with emotion and thanked him for his kindness. There is so much good in this world. Keep it up everyone!”
Anyone who is interested in donating supplies or sewing skills to this project can reach out through the Masks from the Heart Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Masks-from-the-Heart-112030900432269/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARB8hkw9_MruAze4W7x4TgQ4mSqpdX0sAPBwCiUwSpeq66VSiRftsRUa6DeXfjSwgxWIY-9z_jNRUDj_. Cash donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/masks-from-the-heart.