Immigrants and refugees in the Bay Area are making masks to keep others safe and finding joy and purpose in the process.
“.... making these masks gave a whole new meaning to my life. I know there are people out there who need these masks and I can help them.”
These are the words of S., a 48 year-old genocide survivor who was brought to the United States from Cambodia as a child. After losing her parents to the Khmer Rouge genocide, she lived with different families as a maid and was emotionally and physically abused. S. suffers from serious health issues.
Fortunately S. found her way to the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), an Episcopal Impact Fund grantee. According to Mona Afary, the executive director of CERI, S. has never seemed this happy. At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, she began coming to CERI almost every day with a purpose, working several hours each day cutting fabric and sewing masks for fellow CERI members. Since CERI closed in mid-March due to the shelter in place orders, she has continued to sew masks from home, for CERI clients and the wider community. She recently told her care manager that this project has given a new meaning to her life.
The Mask Project is an example of how CERI has adapted its programs to keep its community involved, active, and safe in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Across the Bay Area, Episcopal Impact Fund is providing the critical, flexible funding to organizations responding to the pandemic. We depend on your support to continue. 100% of funds donated will quickly go out to the help those in need.