Mamaroneck Masks Make a Difference

Michaela Loughran, Spotlight Page Director

During a period of isolation and social distancing, members of the Larchmont and Mamaroneck communities have still come together to form an organization whose determination has touched countless front line workers in Westchester and beyond. This group, founded by Lisa Boillot, a Mamaroneck Village resident, is known as Masks for NY. They work to deliver DIY masks, cut and sewn by community residents, to hospitals, care centers, food pantries— any facilities that they can find that are still required to be open but don’t have an adequate amount of protective equipment.

When asked what inspired her to start the organization, Boillot said, “It all began when she saw an article and a Facebook post on March 23rd [that read] ‘Hospitals desperately need masks.’” Upon seeing this, Boillot, a lover of sewing with experience in brand management and consumer marketing, felt inspired to take action. She made a post of her own, asking if members of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community would be interested in the idea of forming a community- based group that could sew and deliver masks to places in need to combat the issue. Within days, more than 250 local residents had responded to the post, volunteering to help, and Masks for NY was born.

The team’s work started as just a local Larchmont and Mamaroneck-based effort, but expanded very quickly. Boillot shared that this was due to “people in different towns stepping up and starting new hubs.” With eight total hubs throughout Westchester, compared to the original two, their endeavor now has much more support to keep it going.

Boillot described the organization as a sort of “relay team,” which gives an idea of the planning and collaboration involved in their work. They have volunteers who donate fabrics and other mask-making materials to wherever their local hub may be, volunteers who then cut and sew these donated materials into masks and drop them back off at a central hub, and volunteers who pick up the finished products and deliver them to establishments that have requested them. Only seven weeks after the establishment of Masks for NY, they had successfully delivered over 15,000 masks.

Masks for NY has over 300 members now, but they are still looking for help wherever they can get it. They encourage anyone interested in supporting the cause to donate funds, fabrics, or their time to cutting, sewing, or driving!