Amie Sevrin of Ellicott City, Maryland, started making masks for her family, including her daughter who has chronic health problems, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now she’s got a team, and 9,000 masks, behind her.
After posting on a neighborhood group about donating her masks, a local anesthesiologist suggested that if she used Halyard — a material used to wrap instruments sterilized for use in the operating room — it would increase the filtration of the masks, and they could be donated to hospitals.
“It’s completely sterile, completely clean, but it’s waste product,” said Sevrin, who previously worked in medical sales.
She decided to give it a try with donated Halyard from Howard County General Hospital, Sinai Hospital and the University of Maryland Shock Trauma, and started donating the masks to local hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s offices.
With the help of a group of mask makers in Carroll County, Maryland, she then started a Howard County Mask Makers group on Facebook. Now she has close to 70 volunteers and made more than 9,000 masks, including the Halyard ones and others, since the start of the pandemic.
Volunteers pick up materials from a spot in her driveway, then drop off completed masks later. They also donate their own materials.
Sevrin also started a GoFundMe page and received more than $2,000 on the page and close to $1,500 in other private donations.
“A dollar, $5, $10 — people just started giving money,” Sevrin said.
She’s shifted from donating to hospitals and medical facilities to donating to homeless shelters, foster homes and those without money to afford masks.
Sevrin said it’s kept her going during the pandemic, and she hopes the effort helps show her three children that giving back is important.
“This allowed me some sense of purpose each day. I got up every day and I knew what I had to do to help the people around me,” Sevrin said.
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