For Mylee Wilkie and Brynn String, spring is usually dedicated to playing soccer.
But with school out until at least mid-May, the 12-year-old Harrington seventh-graders are using their unexpected free time to make a difference.
Mylee and Brynn are hard at work making masks for the healthcare community, an effort they’re calling Masks From The Heart. The fabric masks are designed to be worn over N95 masks, so the critical N95 masks can be reused. They can also be used without N95 masks.
To date, they’ve produced more than 500 handmade masks and distributed them throughout the state, including locally to Beebe Healthcare, Mid-Atlantic Family Practice, La Red, Delaware Hospice, first responders and paramedics, among others.
Brynn said she had been sewing for about a year before the coronavirus outbreak. When the need became apparent, her grandmother sent her a link to a YouTube video about making masks.
“I thought it looked fun, so I made one,” she said. “My mom posted it on Facebook, and people started asking us to make some.”
Mylee heard about it and immediately jumped on board too. Since starting Masks From The Heart, the girls have recruited about 20 other people to sew masks.
Mylee said her grandmother had a lot of material on hand to get started, but since the effort has picked up steam, the girls have received many donations.
They plan to keep sewing masks for as long as they’re needed, but if school starts back up, they said, it may be difficult to find the time. As of now, school will remained closed until May 15.
Sewing masks has kept the girls busy during a tough time. Brynn said the stay-at-home order hasn’t been easy.
“It’s been hard. I’m definitely not used to having free time,” said Brynn, who also dances when not playing sports or attending school.
“Sometimes it can get a little boring,” Mylee added. She’s also Facetiming friends and playing outside to pass the time.
Anyone who wants to donate supplies or sew masks should contact the girls on their Facebook page for Masks From The Heart.
Monetary donations can be made to cover the cost of supplies and shipping at www.gofundme.com/f/masks-from-the-heart.