Wilmington Island family hand-sews masks for people in need

Local News

WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Masks are in short supply across the country. But one Wilmington Island family came up with a creative solution to help solve the problem.

“If you would have told me a couple of months ago that this is what we are doing, I would have laughed,” said Ela Gavrilas.

Three generations of women — including Gavrilas — have banded together to get the job done, though nobody told them to do it. They thought of the idea on their own, and they are going to great lengths to make as many masks as they can, by-hand.

Gavrilas said she got the idea after hearing from her friends across the country and from her family back in Romania.

“We are hearing from our friends every single day,” she said. “I feel the need to do something to help and I think that if everybody that can do something, [it] could actually help and do something positive for our community.”

Gavrilas is working together with her daughter and mother, who is visiting from Romania and cannot return until coronavirus mostly disappears.

The family bought sewing machines and materials. They have spent hundreds of dollars of their own money, but are still giving away most of the masks for free.

“I like it a lot,” said Gavrilas’ daughter, Arianna. “It’s making me want to keep doing it, seeing that people need help.”

So far, the family has sent more than 40 masks to cancer patients, nurses and retirement homes across the country. Nurses at Memorial Hospital and seniors at Summer Breeze Senior Living have benefitted from their efforts.

“It feels wonderful. I know that people are stressed and worried and it’s wonderful to hear good feedback,” said Gavrilas.

Each mask takes 15 minutes to complete and the Gavrilas say it is tedious work.

However, they say they are pushing forward. And showing our community that anyone can help during the coronavirus pandemic, no matter how old and no matter how small.

“Being able to do it with [my mother and grandmother], like the generations doing it, it’s fun,” said Arianna Gavrilas.

The family needs materials and donations to continue its operations. If you would like to help monetarily, with your time or are in need of help, use the contact information below.

Contact Ela Gavrilas at (912) 844-0920 or gavrilas@me.com.

You can also donate through a GoFundMe.

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