Md. sixth grader helps create 1,000 masks for nurses, first responders

A 12-year-old North Potomac boy had an idea more than a month ago, and now plenty of nurses and first responders are grateful today.

A 12-year-old North Potomac, Maryland, boy had an idea more than a month ago to craft masks for nurses and first responders, and his vision recently became a reality.

By the time Landon School sixth grader Alex Henderson had reached spring break in mid-March, he had heard repeatedly about the rising need for face masks to protect people from the coronavirus. So, he brainstormed.

“I just knew that my mom was good at sewing, and since the coronavirus was starting to spread, I said, ‘Hey mom you should start making masks,'” he said.

The operation began small in his mom’s sewing room.

“After we found a good pattern, Alex really helped. He traced and cut the pattern,” said Suzete Henderson.

Alex said the pair made 50 at first, but once they became popular, they started making more.

A month later, the mother and son team has made 1,000 masks in about 20 different fabric patterns.

The nurses liked the masks so much, they requested slight modifications, replacing rubber band ear clasps with strips from softer, more comfortable ballet tights.

“They love the colorful prints,” said Suzete, who said most of the patterns are patriotic themes.

The biggest hit has been masks sporting the Washington Capitals’ logo, she said.

Alex, who credits his mom with most of the work, is proud of his idea and his contribution. He hopes people stick to the public safety precautions against the coronavirus.

“We have to keep staying inside and just let the doctors work on the vaccine and just work on no one getting sick,” Alex said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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