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Aurora mask-maker helps raise thousands for local charities

May 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

It started out just as a project to do something useful for her family and friends in her downtime, but word of mouth helped Robin Taylor Smith take her kitchen-table mask-sewing efforts to the next level.

By the end of last week, she had lost count of just how many masks she and her husband, Greg, had completed, but estimated it was in the neighbourhood of 500, making her more than 60 per cent of her way to raising $10,000 for local non-profits, including the Aurora Food Pantry.

“At first I was delivering them to everybody, making them for friends and family, and I was getting a lot of people who said, ‘We have to give you some money.’ I said I didn’t want any money, but people were hounding me,” says Robin. “So, Greg and I finally said, ‘Let’s just make a donation.’”

As donations started to roll in through an e-transfer account, they set a modest fundraising goal. But those goalposts moved according to demand – and a matching donation from the Oddfellows, a local service club based near Yonge and Wellington, of which Greg is a member.

“I am absolutely flabbergasted, it is a lot of money – I didn’t expect this result and it has blown me away,” she says. “We determined $10,000 after we got the first $1,000 and I jokingly suggested $10,000, not really thinking we would get there as quickly as we have.”

In many respects, it has been a community effort as friends have loaned tools such as rotary cutters and scissors for the mask-making effort, while individuals and organizations, including the Alzheimer Society of York Region, have contributed material to the cause.

“When all this is done, I am hoping to do two or three donations and make it a substantial donation to each instead of just a myriad of organizations,” says Robin. “The Food Pantry is top of my list because every time I see the list, their needs are increasing by the day.”

But, will the mask-making continue once the $10,000 goal has been reached?

“I think I will still keep going – but maybe not be at it eight hours a day!” Robin laughs. “Maybe I’ll do it two or thee days a week, see how many get made and deliver them to whoever wants them. Right now, the orders are coming in and the masks are going out!”

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By Brock Weir



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