With schools closed and few options for social activity, Chelsea Granter was missing her friends and teachers, but the Grade 10 Earl Marriott Secondary student had a notion about how to fill the hours and days spent at home in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the South Surrey teenager is keeping busy while doing her part to help fight the spread of the potentially deadly virus and offering a helping hand to others during a trying time.
Granter, 16, has been sewing cloth masks and selling them for $10 each – with all proceeds going to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
“I have always loved sewing,” Granter said, noting that she began in Grade 5 with an after-school class and has taken textiles as an elective for the past three years.
“When it was recommended by several health organizations that people start wearing masks in public, my mom suggested I make a few for people who might want them. Then my grandmother came up with the idea to sell them, and use the money to donate to the food bank.”
As of last week, she’d sewn 120 masks and collected $1,200. It’s a figure far higher than Granter had imagined when she started out, thinking she would make just a few masks out of her dad’s old work shirts.
Once friends and family members learned what she was doing, they began sending fabric, including a large donation from her textiles teacher.
Designed from a pattern Granter found on the internet, each mask takes about 15 minutes to complete, from cutting and stitching to attaching elastic ear pieces, she explained.
While her family helps with the cutting, adding ‘final touches,’ spreading the word and taking orders for masks, the actual sewing is left to Granter, “as none of us know how to use the machine,” said Andrea Granter, Chelsea’s mom.
“I am very proud of her,” Andrea said. “She is great about sticking to things once she commits to them, such as sports and activities. However, this is different in that it’s nice to see her spend so much time on something that is strictly for the benefit of others.”
The mask-making project is the teen’s first charitable endeavour. It was important to do something, she said, because “there is a lot of stress in the world” and she wanted to help ease it in some way.
“I chose the food bank because a lot of people are losing their jobs due to the pandemic and might have trouble feeding their families.
“Also, schools are closed and some kids may not be able to eat because of that.”
Anyone who would like to purchase a mask or masks can contact Granter by email at email@example.com
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