A school project of making masks all began with inspiration from one sophomore student at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. That school project is paying off and helping frontline Avamere healthcare workers during their greatest time of need.
Inspiration born from a desire to help
Storm Conway-McGraw, a student at Jesuit High School, heard a friend’s grandmother was at a local rehabilitation community, and knowing many senior communities were running low on personal protective equipment (PPE), Storm formulated an idea to help.
She emailed her school principal, Paul Hogan, to ask for assistance getting fellow Jesuit students involved. Together, Storm, Laura Conway (her mother), and Ms. Elaine Kloser from Jesuit’s Drama Department created mask templates and directions. All volunteers needed was a willing heart, as the principal allowed them to borrow sewing supplies from the school’s costume shop.
The team of three set up a mask station in a covered area outside the school gym (allowing social distancing) for mask drop-off and pick-up, as well as a spot for volunteers to grab fabric and other materials.
Twenty-five Jesuit drama students and parents volunteered to make masks.
Finding a home for the masks
While there is a lot of work involved in this project, finding a home for the masks was an easy box to check off!
Laura reached out to family friend Thomas Cloutier, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Avamere Living Community-Based Care, asking if Avamere needed any help.
Thomas, of course, happily accepted.
A heartfelt thanks
In a thank-you email to the team, Thomas shared:
“I am lucky enough to have known Laura Conway and her incredible family for a long time. Laura and Storm reached out at a time where we were in desperate need of any masks we could acquire. At Avamere, we have incredible individuals that keep showing up to work and providing the best possible care. It is truly inspiring.”
Avamere Living is a part of The Avamere Family of Companies, a group of companies providing healthcare services for seniors. Masks have been distributed throughout Avamere, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation (Infinity Rehab), and home health and hospice (Signature Healthcare at Home).
Thomas continued, “Thanks to you, we have masked hundreds of our team members in The Avamere Family of Companies.”
Each box of masks mailed out to Avamere locations includes a personalized note and drawing by younger kids, offering much-needed encouragement to healthcare staff.
One heartwarming note read, “Thank you for helping the world get better.”
As of April 3, and after only a week since starting the project, the volunteers supplied over 400 masks to Avamere.
“What you are doing matters!” Thomas concluded in his email to volunteers. “You have protected our staff, seniors, and community at large.”
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