Some have loved ones in the medical field. Others have health issues themselves. All have found a way to help keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, as students, teachers, and staff members of the Windsor Central School District are making masks for local hospitals.
“The first mask I made was for my grandma. She works in a hospital. I have made about 12 so far so she could share them with her friends at work. I try to make 3 a day,” said 9th grader Hannah Saxby. “I hope my masks keep the hospital workers safe.”
Windsor teacher Deb Hoyt has a medical issue that makes her vulnerable to respiratory disease. She is using this extended time at home to make 100-200 masks by hand to donate to UHS.
“Even though I grounded myself at home, I thought it was the least I could do to help,” said Hoyt.
Evelyn Williams has made well over 100 masks so far.
“They have gone to hospitals, nursing homes, and various health workers. I am making them because I have a sibling who works in a local hospital and they were given one mask that has to last a whole week. That’s so scary,” said Williams
Bell Elementary first grader Abigail Decker has a special reason for helping to make masks. Her mother, Elizabeth, is part of a nursing team at both Wilson General and Lourdes Hospital.
“It felt good because I was helping people. They’re not getting sick,” said Abigail.
“She helped me cut out the patterns and pin them, and she ran the pedal on the sewing machine,” said her father Brian Decker.
“She has experience. She has a little-kid sewing machine. She makes little pillows for her dolls,” said Elizabeth. “It’s been great. The masks have been helping us get in and out of the hospital. The ones the hospital has are paper so these cloth ones are reusable,” said Elizabeth.
The family was able to use fabric they picked up during a recent trip to Disney World.
“Some of the girls I work with are Disney fans and it perked them up. I let them pick out what they want,” said Elizabeth.
Windsor school librarian Nana Pietriyk has made a dozen masks using a 3D printer. Teacher Eileen Mulcahy is fitting them with shields made from film she usually uses with overhead projectors.
“We are sending them directly to a doctor for him and his staff. He still has to wear medical masks but the shields will be utilized as added protection and for when the mask inventory is pinched and masks need to be worn longer. The laminate film can be thrown away and the halo reused with new film,” said Mrs. Mulcahy.
Whether they are using “little-kid” sewing machines or 3D printers, many members of the Windsor school community are doing what they can at home to fight a global pandemic.