woman sitting behind sewing machineApril Cannon, who with her husband Rick financially support many charities including Golisano Children’s Hospital, felt she needed to do more to help protect healthcare workers during the coronavirus outbreak. “I was watching the news and saw that nurses would take anything, even a bandana, to try to stay safe,” she said. “I went to my sewing machine, thinking, I could do better.”

Taking a sheet and some elastic she had from when she made children’s dresses for a store she once owned in Long Island, she found a pattern online and started making medical facemasks.

Soon, she had interest from others on social media and started a group to help connect people with supplies to make the masks, including elastic, which is in short supply. Soon her husband and her daughter became involved, putting the business they run on hold to help produce the necessary masks. She has donated the masks to area hospitals, as well as sending some to hospitals in New York, where she is from.

“People want to rally and don’t know what to do in these very unchartered waters,” she said. “People are scared, and this will bring us together as a country. People want to help.”

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