Suburban Chicago designer shares how she is helping during the coronavirus era

ChicagoNow reader Mariah Molina shared the following message and photos about how she is helping out during the coronavirus era:

My name is Mariah Molina and I am a local designer here in West Chicago suburbs. About 10 days ago, I brought it upon myself to start creating custom face-masks to donate to local facilities after hearing about the dangerously low supply of these essentials. I also have a soft spot for healthcare workers since I grew up with nurses and doctors in my family! After creating a few pieces and posting it to my social media platforms, my post blew up and over this course, received an overwhelming amount of replies from families, nurses, and people commenting places to donate.

Starting at 60, I have created and donated over 120 face masks to facilities in the Chicagoland area and shipped to places in Missouri and Texas as of today. In addition, I created these masks for families and children in my area. My neighborhood also came together to drop off fabrics/supplies to my house, drop off these masks to people in need, and make donations so that I was able to purchase more fabric. After seeing the positive impact I made on my community and the unity it formed, it encouraged me to challenge my followers to do the same and follow a simple tutorial I made for them to do their part in creating these masks.

I am writing to you to learn about my story as a young designer, and the impact I am trying to make on our growing COMMUNITY. I want this story to be heard because of how impactful small gestures make when a neighborhood COMES TOGETHER to make a difference. My experience can inspire more groups to take part in creating these masks so that we can provide extra supplies for our healthcare workers. Yet I am only one person and sew out of my studio, I want to encourage young people like myself that they are capable of taking on large projects like this to help others during tragedies like this. Thank you for listening!!!!

Molina can be found on Instagram — @riahstones.

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