On March 16th, a roll of fabric was taken down from fashion design classroom 429 to the lobby of Fashion High, to hand over to LES Downtown‘s CEO Lisa Rosa after running an idea by her, ‘what do you think about making masks?‘
Our president knew Lisa would be ‘down for whatever’, because that’s the kind of person she is. Our president wanted, needed that kind of spirit as a Co-founder for this Non-profit and she made the right choice.
Lisa appeared in her Black Toyota Camry in front of the school while taking a break from one of her many jobs. She is one of these relentless workers that find different profitable ways to fill her time while her brain spirals new ideas to grow her American Dream. She popped the trunk to store the 1st roll of fabric and that’s how this all began two months ago.
After that day, more fabric made it’s way to Rosa’s home. Elastic, pins, batting, twill tape, all materials purchased, or donated and needed to create packages for the tailors that signed up to help, because that’s how ideas evolve. You can’t get great ideas off the ground without someONEs to help you through. And so a Facebook group was created to gather and communicate with all housebound tailors, surveys were created to collect addresses because the idea was to deliver materials to their door and pick up completed masks for the cause, all thanks to Timely Fashion Logistics, started by Lisa, to offer employment opportunities to drivers.
Our Co-Founder Rafael Mathiss gathered his group of friends and funds that would regularly go to students for their dreams, now purchased items needed to make masks for much needed people on the front lines. Remembering the reason why we created this entity, allowed us to shift our energies to serve the ALL presently in need.
In the span of two months, around 50 packages were made and delivered for all participating tailors to contribute their sartorial skills. The task, to make a simple item that can essentially save a life. Twenty-two tailors created over 1,000 masks that will now be delivered to the essential workers, livery cab drivers.
These ONEs have been forging through, serving as lifelines between other essential workers and their destinations and April 2nd saw it’s first casualty, fellow Uber driver of our Vice President, Anil Subba.
Anil met his fate after driving an infected passenger from JFK during the first week of March, before all of this began. His family now lives with that loss and the loss of that financial source and his story was sobering for Lisa.
‘The passing of Mr. Subba became a reality that hit very close to home. That could’ve been me. I too, am sacrificing so much to make sure my daughter’s will not have to do without. I sleep in my car at times in order to avoid contact with them. I may Facetime many times a day but nothing replaces holding your children in your arms.’
In two months making masks has turned into a global mission, reminding us that we’re not facing this alone. Just look up #makingmasks in Instagram to witness the unity.
One story absolutely enlaced with the message of what purpose and passion can do is found on Instagram – Hides in Hand
At first glance you see this muscled tattoo’ed man on a sewing machine with a woman leaning over and curiosity strikes. Many things may have changed in our world, yet a scene such as that one has yet to become normal. And so I begin to read and the first 6 words, ‘Let me say, I love him.’ had me. It turns out he’s a ‘rock star’ in more ways than one.
He sat at her sewing machine to help out. Never having pressed a treadle or placed fabric between a feed dogs and a presser foot, he learned.. Her purpose was infectious and that was the goal. That was all our goal, to come together and simply ‘help out‘.
Our collaborators have made this possible and we want to thank them.
Thank you Timely Fashion Logistics, Fashion Week Brooklyn, Art Factory Studios, Park – Pro Systems, Cope NYC, Barely Naked Designs
And lastly our Tailors, or better, our RIVETERS of 2020 – NYC SEWS
You all are breathes of oxygen, all that is good and needed on this Earth.. Please remain true to your good nature and may you be rewarded infinitely for your altruism.
Amanda Haught, Arlene Delgado, Lucy Fierro, Valentina Rivoli, Natanyah Menna, Laura Moore, Julia Thang, Jasmine Spaight, Bernardo B., Iran Sadaf Padder, Ananoda Clarke, Cameron Bryzek, Humaira Sheikh, Cynthia Casiano, Wendy Gleckner, Maureen Jeffries, Ann Feige, Megan LeBlanc, Rick Davy, Bessie Mercado, Celinne Lyons, Mildred Guzmán, Michelle Esp, Latisha Moye and Assane
Thank you Lisa Rosa for being the vein throughout this entire endeavor.. We are eternally grateful to have you as our ONE