During a time when N95 masks are scarce and lives are literally in danger due to that lack, Denison alumni and faculty are stepping in to help make and distribute facial masks - and make the world a safer place.
From Chengdu, with love
From 2009 to 2013, Granville resident Carol Apaki and her husband were host parents for economics major Linna Zhou ‘13, who hailed from Chengdu China. Though Zhou now lives in Tempe, Az, they remain close. When Zhou’s mother who still lives in Chengdu, saw stories about a short supply of surgical masks in U.S., she shipped 200 of those precious masks, at her own expense, to Apaki. Apaki immediately gave them to local doctor Tracee Laing, who in turn shared them with a grateful Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
As Apaki said on her Facebook post about the good deed, “I see this as a beautiful example of the caring relationships that are often forged between Denison international students, their families, and our local community.”
Emerita Professor of Sociology Mary Tuominem hadn’t used her sewing machine in years, but when she saw a way to help make her Granville community safer, she helped organize an effort to sew facial masks for people working in local nonprofits and organizations — and businesses, like grocery stores, that must remain open during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order.
Tuominem and her group of 20 or so “Stitchin’ Babes” have sewed and distributed about 800 masks so far. “It’s really personal networks, and that’s why it’s important for people to know they can do this,” says Tuominen, who also is working to help educate people on why it is important to wear a mask - even if they are not ill. Her group has received donations of fabric, supplies, and funding to help offset costs, as they continue their work.