BERLIN — A local family has spent their time in isolation giving back by donating over 200 homemade masks to the elderly in the community.
After seeing multiple seniors shopping in grocery stores without any sort of face covering, Kasia Roginska, owner of KARO Swimwear, knew she could put her design expertise to good use and provide a much needed service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“One day I went to Berlin Stop & Shop and saw some seniors shopping and it made me think about them being so prone getting infected and many of them don’t have anyone to run their errands,” she said. “That stayed on my mind and next morning I woke up with a mission to make some masks out of any cotton fabric I could find and try to donate to some seniors I run into at the store.”
The ball quickly got rolling from there. Roginska began promoting her masks on social media and began donating masks to the Berlin Senior Center, Hartford Hospital and the Prudence Crandell Center in New Britain.
The orders came in droves, and Roginska started asking those interested in her face masks to pay five dollars for materials and enlisted her family and friends into helping in her new venture.
“I have a bunch of people and some family members helping with the process from cutting, to stitching to reversing from inside out, to ironing and cutting elastics and final sewing,” she said. “This way we have a system and it goes smoother.”
Roginska also committed to using bright fabric for her masks, a small detail that wasn’t missed by the local seniors.
“She used bright, colorful fabric so they’re useful but they’re also very cheerful. The seniors I’ve delivered masks to have been really appreciative. Kasia went above and beyond,” said Tina Dole, director of the senior center.
While the process of mask making was a step outside of her comfort zone, Roginska was happy to do her part in helping her community.
“It’s actually fun making them in various prints and colors and people have choice to pick what they like. Not as fun as swimwear but still great to be able to do something to help people and keep me busy,” she said.