SDSS students make face masks to protect migrant workers

South Delta Secondary School (SDSS) students are busy making face masks to help protect local migrant farm workers in South Delta and the Fraser Valley from COVID-19.

The idea originally came from Carol Johnson, a SDSS parent and educational assistant in Delta. SDSS counsellor Val Hayes connected her to fashion arts teacher Catherine Hay.

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Hay jumped on board with the idea. She had already made and donated a dozen masks to workers at the Save-On Foods in Tsawwassen. She also made a video for YouTube about making DIY masks and quickly enlisted the help of some of her textile students, Helen Ho, Kaya Davis, Kaleigh Tregaskis and Annika Walker, who got to work making more masks.

“We feel it’s important to protect the people who are growing and harvesting the food that we buy in the stores,” said Hay. “With each mask that we make, we feel like we’re doing a little bit to help.”

To date they have made and delivered more than 90 cloth masks to Jon Pelen, urban missionary supporting Latino migrant farm workers in South Delta and the Fraser Valley.

“These masks will help keep our migrant workers healthy and safe from COVID 19 as they work in close quarters within green houses and mushroom farms,” said Pelen. “Thank you Catherine and your students for giving so generously of your time and talents to our community. You are making a big difference in the lives of many who have felt very isolated and vulnerable as they work hard growing food for us all to enjoy and be nourished by.”

If you would like to learn how to make fabric masks quickly and easily, check out Hay’s tutorial on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK3hHSWHLzo.

If you would like to donate them to support Latino migrant farm workers in our community, contact Pelen at 604-802-7611 or by email at jkpelen@gmail.com.

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