Yorktown has a pair of local heroes not only making masks, but fighting against hunger, too.
Brothers Jeffrey and Sabian Beyon have been making masks by hand and selling them to raise money for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.
“We wanted to do something meaningful during the lockdown,” Jeffrey said.
The brothers, who are now in college, said they first learned how to make masks back in middle school for a home economics class. When they heard about the masks shortages because of the coronavirus outbreak, they wanted to make masks but realized they were out of practice. With the help of YouTube and pointers from their mother, they started hand-sewing masks and giving them away.
“We thought that by making them the hard way, in other words by hand or without a sewing machine, we could better empathize with the hardness the community is going through,” Jeffrey said.
Supplied with an iron, fabrics, and some thread, the brothers said it takes about an hour to make one mask. Their masks are made out of 100 percent cotton with 2-ply layering. The straps are made of rubber so they are easier on the skin, and they are machine-washable, too.
“Once we have a mask completely made, we ask our mother for a quality check to make sure it’s okay and good to go,” Sabian said.
At first they gave the masks away at the organizations where they volunteer. Both brothers volunteer at Riverside Regional Medical Center while Jeffrey also volunteers at a local homeless shelter.
But then they got a better idea.
They began selling their masks for $2 each. All proceeds are directly donated to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.
“Back in 2013 in December, my father and I had the opportunity to do a food drive with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and we really enjoyed that experience,” Jeffrey said. “Basically, we were just really interested in food-related volunteerism.”
“The reason why our masks are $2 each is because we didn’t want to burden our supporters with high donations limits,” Sabian said.
The brothers have raised more than $1,500, according to their website. The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank is able to supply up to 10 meals with $1. Together, the brothers have been able to fund nearly 15,000 meals for the community.
“It’s certainly unbelievable. I never thought we’d raise that much,” Sabian said.
Even though the brothers have surpassed their original fundraising goal, they are still accepting donations. They don’t plan on stopping any time soon as long as there is a need for masks
To support their cause, you can go to their webpage. Shipping is on them.
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