Masks for Change


Photo by: Lane Phifer

Imagine produced by senior Emma Fischer and school psychologist Kenda Fischer.

Story by Lane Phifer, Multimedia Editor

On June 15, senior Emma Fischer began selling homemade masks in order to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. 

Once news of George Floyd, an African American man who was murdered by a police officer, appeared in the media, with protests beginning not long afterwards, Fischer felt as though she could do something to show her support. 

“After I learned of George Floyd’s death and saw the protests, I fixated on it for a few days and felt depressed, I couldn’t put down my phone,” Fischer said. “I think I felt helpless and like I couldn’t do anything, but sewing masks was definitely something to do.”

Each mask is $5 and all of the money is donated to organizations such as Campaign Zero (also known as We The Protestors) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

“I’m extremely fortunate to say this, but I don’t need the money and it was never about money anyway,” Fischer said. “I decided to donate to Campaign Zero because it was on a post that went around in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death about where you can donate too. I also donated to the NAACP because I know they do a lot of stuff with the legal system and I think that’s equally important.”

So far, Fischer has donated more than $200 to the organizations and has sold roughly 27 masks both personally and through Root Coffeehouse. 

Fischer began selling her masks at Root on July 1 and has sold 10 through the business so far. 

“[I decided to do sales there] for a few reasons. PSU had announced that they would be requiring masks, and I knew that Root served a lot of students, so I figured it would be a way to offer masks to college kids,” Fischer said. “Root also sells other people’s products so I figured more people would see them.”

Senior Bailee Edson decided to purchase several masks from Fischer not long after sales began in June for herself and her family in order to follow COVID-19 precautions. 

“The masks are awesome. They come in all different patterns so my whole family was able to buy some,” Edson said. “They’re easy to wash and super inexpensive since some companies have jacked up the prices of their masks. I would definitely recommend more people buy them.”

Fischer has been learning how to sew since early May after her grandmother, Sharon Fischer, shared her passion for sewing with her. 

“Later on, my grandmother brought me fabric and wrote me instructions for how to sew a burp cloth,” Fischer said. “Then the next week, she brought me fabric and wrote me instructions for how to sew a mask and I thought it would be neat to donate them.”

With learning how to sew, Fischer says she has also learned about making, selling, and donating the masks. 

“I’ve learned that I love the management, organization, and design part of promoting and launching this little business,” Fischer said. “One of my goals in life is to run an art shop and to sell prints, stickers and t-shirts. I think this has taught me a little bit about how I would need to get started and what I would need to do.”