That masked woman is none other than Kim Mulcahy.
Threads of Hope
Three weeks ago, Kim Mulcahy received a call from Dr. Melissa Manice, a Larchmont mom whose brother-in-law is an emergency room doctor at Columbia-Presbyterian. Dr. Manice had heard about Mulcahy’s Sew Happy classes and asked if there was any way she could help make masks, which were in desperate need in New York hospitals.
Mulcahy contacted her friend Cliona Cronin, a school nurse. After brainstorming, these super-organized and civic-minded moms posted an appeal on the Rye Moms Facebook page.
In just two weeks, with the help of 200 other Rye residents ages 7 and up, they’ve made 5,000 masks. “We are amazed at how many people still have sewing machines!” remarked Mulcahy.
Some volunteers make 300 to 400 a day, out of whatever materials — old sheets, fabric swatches — they have stashed away. “This is not a beauty contest, our goal is volume,” stated Mulcahy. “We’re under no illusion that we are saving lives, but we are told that we are prolonging lives.”
When the Rye Mask Project was launched, Mulcahy and Cronin fielded questions from volunteers who needed assistance with the task. So, they recorded an instructional video. It now typically takes a volunteer about 15 minutes to create a mask. And for those who want to help but aren’t handy with a thread and needle, Mulcahy and Cronin ask them to collect masks and drop them at Dr. Manice’s home. The good doctor is the main distributor. She sterilizes them and gets them to hospitals, The Osborn, Open Door, and many other facilities.
Nurses in the White Plains Hospital Cardiac ICU wearing masks made by Rye Mask Project volunteers.
You can see this wonderful volunteer effort in action on YouTube.
- Robin Jovanovich