Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Adams Family Produces Masks for Niagara County
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Madelin-Adams-making-masks

Adams Family Produces Masks for Niagara County

With help from her family, Madelin Adams ’20 has sewn 457 facemasks from their Cambria, N.Y.-home, located in Niagara County. Adams says her family mobilized after connecting to a larger network of sewers through a Facebook group called Community Sourced PPE: Operation Sewing Squad, where people post and source information about mask design and share resources such as fabric or elastic. Together, the Facebook group has made and distributed 40,000 masks.

When personal protective equipment became scarce, Adams’ mother Paula began to put her knowledge of sewing to use, a skill she taught her daughter at an early age. Early on, the Adams family observed that many of the templates circulating online for home sewers were not adequate for providing protection to healthcare workers. The family, who have many loved ones working in the healthcare industry, focused their efforts on creating masks they could donate to hospitals, fire companies, nursing homes, schools and transportation workers.

“The process has many steps including cutting nose pieces from scrap metal that my dad has brought home from work or has been donated to us. We then iron, sew and cut elastic to go around the ears, and cut the fabric. Sometimes we form an assembly line through the house,” Adams says.

Like many communities, Covid-19 has struck hospitals and nursing homes in Niagara County the hardest. Adams says her top priority is helping her community and the healthcare workers on the frontlines to flatten the curve. We want to “help us and our healthcare workers mitigate the effects of this virus,” she says.

Adams graduated with a B.S. in biology. She minored in health professions. On campus, she was a global ambassador and a member of Theta Phi Alpha.