By Ally Turk
Starting April 17, all people who are unable to social distance in public were to start wearing face masks, according to an order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. One woman in Highland has taken matters into her own hands by making masks and sending them out to people who need them.
Danielle Dapp started making masks for friends and family during the start of the pandemic by following a tutorial online. The masks she makes has four sizes, including children’s sizes, and is made to fit more snug on your face than a normal hospital mask.
After Cuomo made his announcement on April 15, Dapp began to realize that some lower income families may not be able to go and buy masks. She also knew that adult masks don’t fit children, but anyone over 2 would be expected to wear a mask. Dapp decided to post on the local Highland Community Facebook page to see if anyone needed masks, and got an overwhelming response.
“I have gotten countless requests from individuals and I am working to get them all done. I actually haven’t really kept track of individual masks, but probably around 40 thus far,” Dapp said.
Along with the 40 masks for individuals, Dapp has made 25 for Hannaford employees and 50 for a local food pantry.
Along with making masks, Dapp has five children at home and is still working remotely Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dapp works for a special needs preschool and is using this time for training and putting ideas together for what parents can do with their children.
With the future unknown, Dapp doesn’t plan on stopping her mask production anytime soon. In fact, she plans on making this bigger than it currently is.
“I am hoping to set up locations at a few local businesses to leave masks for whoever needs them to pick them up,” Dapp said. “Hopefully this makes the masks more available to people who may need one but do not have Facebook. I also intend on carrying masks with me when I go out, to the grocery store or for a walk, so I can give them to people who do not have one, with the hope to help as many people as possible. “
Dapp isn’t alone in wanting to help her community, she’s had multiple people donate different fabrics to her. Fabric is hard to find right now, and if she tries to order it online the shipping may take weeks.
This pandemic is hitting Dapp personally, which she attributes to her decision to start making masks. Dapp’s mother has COPD and is diabetic, and her son has asthma. When she started thinking about how other families are being affected just like hers, she said it was a no-brainer to start making the masks.
“I am helper and I was feeling helpless in this pandemic, being at home, not being able to do anything that seemed helpful. Making the masks satisfies my desire to do something to help people,” Dapp said. “People have offered to pay for them, but I am not interested in making money doing this. I am doing it simply to help keep my community safe.”