RANDOLPH, NJ- When Shongum Elementary school student in Adriana Termini received a sewing machine for her birthday last year, she had no idea how much it would come in handy when Spring of 2020 rolled around. Due to the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control has mandated the wearing of masks indoors at most public facilities, and that directive is what launched Termini's sewing machine into action.
“When we couldn’t find any masks in stores back in March, we decided to put her sewing machine to good use and make our own,” said Gerlando Termini, Adriana’s father. “It took us a few rounds of tests, research and watching Youtube videos, before we finally settled on a template and came up with all the ‘assembly line steps’. Given all the spare time we all have these days, it was an excuse to distract them from spending too much time on their devices.”
But once they were done making masks for their immediate family and relatives, the sewing machine kept humming along and the Termini’s turned it into a good cause.
“I was born and raised in Italy in the Seventies, many families in my town had to make their own clothes because they didn’t have money to buy them, so I know what it feels like when you do something good for your community” said Termini. “As parents, we considered the many benefits of starting this project: foster a sense of empathy in our daughters, challenge their problem-solving skills, inspire them to do something useful for those in need.”
They named their project “Masks For Hope”, and they just crossed over the 100 mask mark this past weekend. Their cloth masks are better for the environment since they won’t end up on the streets or in a landfill, and are washable for multiple wearing’s.
Given their Italian roots, the Termini’s set this up as a “family business”, and they all contribute to the manufacturing process. Adriana designed some of the “stations” of the assembly line (cutting, matching, sewing, ironing, finishing), and they all take turns at the sewing machine.
“We hope to get more support from other families and organizations in the area,” said Termini. “We know that many more people still need masks, especially now that businesses are starting to reopen, and we are all trying to go back to a more “normal” lifestyle.”
Masks are available for $10 each (or more, if anyone wants to donate extra)
“All the proceeds raised go to support local charities, like the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County, the COVID-19 Financial Relief fund at Liquid Church and others,” said Termini. “We already donated $200 to those two organizations, and welcome suggestions for other organizations in need. We also donated 15 masks to the teachers at the Heritage Children’s Academy daycare, thanks to Meredith Kurland-Ross who connected us with them.”
Those who want to place an order can use the website: https://bit.ly/masks-of-hope. The Termini household can currently make about 25-30 masks per week, based on material availability.
The masks are made are using two layers of breathable 100% cotton fabric (denim), a built-in aluminum nose bridge for improved comfort, and adjustable elastic bands. People can choose between two sizes (large and small), in either grey/white, white/beige, grey/beige colors.
For residents of Randolph, they will bring the mask to you: just leave your cash or check donation in your mailbox for an easy, contactless delivery.
Or use their GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/randolph-masks-of-hope
To celebrate their 100th mask made, a Facebook page was launched at https://www.facebook.com/Masks-of-Hope-107074854359318