The coronavirus pandemic caused a nationwide shortage of face masks, prompting many Good Samaritans — including one very industrious 9-year-old girl — to step forward and donate handmade cloth masks.
Michaela Munyan of Oakland Township, Michigan, has sewn more than 570 face masks over the past few months, and donated them to nurses, restaurant employees and other frontline workers, including the staff at her favorite pizza place.
Michaela has also donated many masks to local families and friends. Michaela fields requests on her Facebook page, the Friendly Chupacabra Face Covering Company.
“It makes me feel good that I can help somehow,” Michaela told Parents. “I hope it encourages others to do the same. We all have to help each other through this.”
Michaela first learned how to sew through the sewing club at school. She began making her own scrunchies, bags and even miniature clothes for her cat, Minerva (whose nickname is the inspiration for her Facebook page name).
After her school shut down and Michaela heard about the face mask shortage, she found a pattern online to try making her own. After she successfully made masks for her whole family, she set her sights on helping out the rest of the community. She’s even made masks for Michigan residents living in other countries, like Thailand and Sweden.
Her parents, Kristen and Matt Munyan, have supported her along the way.
“We are incredibly proud of our girl,” Matt said. “As a parent, you try to raise good people, kind people. We’re lucky to be her parents.”
As Michaela’s page has gained momentum, she often gets more requests than she can possibly fulfill — even though she’s traded her homework hours to get extra sewing time. As a 9-year-old kid, she needs to take time to chill and play, after all!
There are other generous and crafty citizens helping people get the masks they need. In March, Joann Fabric began giving out free fabric to anyone making face masks. And one college student has designed special face masks for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
In a time when face coverings can save lives, the more masks, the better!