Since March 18e, the organization founded by Angie Cohen and Paula Villamizar, has created and donated thousands of masks for organizations and individuals in the Miami area, including healthcare workers, police, and many community groups and individuals. .
One of our students, Ariel Swedroe, started making masks for her grandparents and from there we realized that everyone was going to need them and that health workers and essential workers were struggling finding masks, says DesignLab Give co-founder Paula V. Sohn.
Since then, the group has sewn and donated more than 2,500 masks to Miami and some have been shipped out of the state. About 35 DesignLab student volunteers and their families helped. Those who don’t sew, cut. It became a group effort.
We never realized it would become such a successful project, said Sohn. It was launched because of an urgent need and our desire to help our community. Orders have started to pour in. Also, our “sewing army” was so enthusiastic about helping, it was satisfying to know that we were all doing something about it. It felt good all around.
The new additional Brother sewing machines allowed more group volunteers to work on the mask-making project. They were able to lend some of the old machines to volunteers who did not have them so that they could work from home. The newly donated Brother machines were then used in the studio by volunteers who came to sew there.
In the future, they plan to continue using the machines to teach privileged groups to sew. Community programs were suspended during the health crisis, but they are working on setting up a sewing program with a family placement agency. The group hopes to be able to start teaching again in person once the health care crisis is resolved.
DesignLab Give donated to:
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Camillus House (Health Unit)
Jewish community services
Miami Food Bank
North Miami Beach Police Service
Aventura Hospital Temple Judea
Voices for Children (Liberty City)
and more than 85 people who contacted the organization via IG and who donated and received masks.
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