A desire to support those on the front lines of the pandemic marked the start of Candy Rasbeck, secretary for the Deans Office of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, making and donating around 450 face masks.

“This started out with a message from my daughter, who lives and works in Rochester, that there was a dire need for masks, both for medical and emergency personnel, so many have gone there,” Rasbeck said.

Rasbeck has a Mennonite fabric store about two miles from her house where she is a "frequent flier," she said, especially the past few weeks.  

“At this point, I've made somewhere around 450 face masks that I've also donated to my area shops and stores for their employees, to friends, relatives and co-workers,” Rasbeck noted. “As more people find out I have them, I get more and more requests for them.” 

While Rasbeck has happily made and donated the masks, she has found a challenge in getting the elastic for them. “After buying any and all I could find locally, I ordered a 200-yard spool of it through Amazon, and as of now, that's about gone,” she said.

Rasbeck’s 17-year-old granddaughter Kendyl joined the effort, with the teen supplying masks in and around Seneca Falls, where she lives.   

“Like me, she does not charge, but rather, also asks recipients to ‘pay it forward’ when they see someone who is in need,” Rasbeck said. “She has told me what a great feeling it is to not only have something productive to do, but that it gives her such satisfaction to know she can help out in this very trying time. Needless to say, I am very proud of her for her willingness to help others without looking for a monetary return!”