Parent Donates 55 Handmade Masks to EC-Central

Posted on 09/25/2020
EC=Central Parent Donates Handmade Masks for Staff and Students

Masks have been an integral part of the Francis Howell School District’s plan to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. After the virus affected her family, one FHSD parent set out to make sure that her son’s classmates and all the teachers in the building had their necessary daily accessory.

“In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, right after the schools closed, my little family was affected by the virus,” said Amanda Wheeler, parent of an Early Childhood Central School Road student. “We were lucky that the kids and my spouse were hit very lightly. I was not so lucky. I ended up being sick for a very long time.” After dealing with a low fever and pneumonia for almost three months, Wheeler slowly began to feel better. She was determined to keep others from experiencing what she had just gone through and began making masks for others in May.

With the reopening of schools and her son Henry attending EC-Central, Wheeler decided to make masks for the staff there. “I know that teachers do so much for our students, sometimes spending their own money on what is needed,” said Wheeler. “This prompted me to pay back the teachers some by providing masks for free.” In total, she donated 47 handmade masks for teachers and support staff, and eight masks for students. She also has plans to donate more masks soon.

“We were very grateful to start the school year with a generous donation from a parent of face masks for the staff,” said Marlo Scholle, principal of EC-Central. “The face masks were so thoughtful. The staff loved and appreciated them so very much.”

“Henry helps a lot while making masks,” said Wheeler. Not only does he help with packaging the masks and removing the pins after sewing; he was tasked with an extra important role in the mask production. “Henry picked out the fabric for the teachers, saying they would like that design best,” said Wheeler. “He loved the rainbow hearts.”

Wheeler took extra precautions while packing the masks. Before being packaged, the masks were sterilized either with an iron or in a dryer with high heat. She wore a mask and gloves while individually packaging them straight from the dryer. The process helps neutralize any contaminates and makes them ready to wear straight from the packaging.

Wheeler originally started making masks for kids and the elderly in her neighborhood. Her small operation has grown to shipping out upwards of 180 masks a week. “I have a Facebook group for selling and making of masks,” said Wheeler. “All teachers and support staff get the base mask for half the price, so $5.” She offers a variety of different customization options, including over 400 different fabrics, metal nose pieces, additional layers, and adjustable ear loops.

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