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Rachel is making masks for people in her community in wake of COVID-19!

RacheI recognized that there was a need for masks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. After the University of Georgia switched to online instruction, she had time on her hands. After Rachel found out that some craft stores in her hometown were giving away free supplies to sew masks, she decided to give it a shot.

"I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl so it seemed like a great way to make use of my time in quarantine and help others!" she said.

Rachel dusted off her sewing machine and got to work. At first, she made masks for local hospitals until the hospitals' mask requirements became more strict. To protect the safety of hospital workers and patients, the hospitals in her area stopped accepting homemade masks.

Instead of calling it quits, Rachel decided to keep sewing and make masks for people in her community!

"We have some elderly neighbors and friends so I started by making them masks and then as people found out I was making them, they began asking me to make them for their families!" she noted.

At this point, Rachel says she's made between 60-70 masks, all with her own sewing machine. She said one of the most fun aspects has been picking out "fun cheerful fabrics," which she can imagine cheering people up despite the uncertainty around us right now.

A pre-nursing major, Rachel has also been using this help people in her community stay healthy.

"So many of the families I have made [masks] for have reached out about how much safer they feel now that they have protection which makes me feel like i am really making a difference!"

Rachel said the hardest part so far has been the lack of elastic. Because so many people are sewing masks right now, there is an elastic shortage that has forced her to get even more creative. Rachel began making tie-around masks out of the fabric strips, which she said has been much more time consuming.

A normal day for Rachel during quarantine consists of working homework and then making as many masks as she can while watching her online lectures. Go, Rachel! We are so proud of you and all your hard work!

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