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Deerfield High School Junior Annabelle Gensler has donated more than 200 cloth face masks to West Deerfield Township to distribute to those in need.
“My mom owns a small clothing company called Tee2You, and a lot of her customers reached out to her and asked her to send them some masks whenever she started making them,” Gensler said, noting that her mother was busy with other work projects. “So I decided to take on the masks myself.”
Gensler learned to sew at age 10 at a fashion and sewing camp she attended with Mayor Rosenthal’s granddaughter. So she reached out to Mayor Rosenthal to see if there was a need for masks for vulnerable populations.
“Mayor Harriet played a huge role in making this possible. I’ve known her for as long as I can remember, as her granddaughter is one of my best friends. She was so excited when I told her about this project,” Gensler said. “She got me in contact with Alyson Feiger at the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry, who has been incredible.”
Each mask usually takes about 10 minutes to make, they are made from fabric donations along with blankets used for backing and straps that are purchased. The masks are durable and machine washable. They come in two sizes and in variety of colors and patterns.
“I cut out the shape according to the pattern in the outer decorative fabric and the inner lining, sew the lining to the front, attach the two sides and sew on the straps, she said. “It’s nothing too fancy.
As of today, she has made a total of 342 masks, and plans to keep making more as long as she has fabric to work with. Of those, about 200 have been donated to the food pantry, and she sold the rest to friends and family to help cover her costs.
“Overall, I’m hoping to get as many to the food pantry as possible and donate whatever money remains from the sales,” she said.
The masks are being placed in the boxes of food that are given to families served by the food pantry.
“I hope that the people who receive the masks are inspired, and know that they too can do their part to slow the spread,” Gensler said.