Madelyn Jones: Making of the MasksBy Madelyn Jones
Madelyn Jones is a member of the women’s golf team. A sophomore, Jones hails from Austin, Texas.
My team and coaches have been very supportive of each other during this time, especially after the abrupt end to our season. We were pulled off of the golf course during the middle of a round and were told to go home as quickly as we could. After that, we have been checking in with each other periodically to ensure we are all doing alright.
When the pandemic hit and we were told we would finish the semester online, I began looking for ways that I could help in my community. I am a pre-med student and fascinated by anything in the medical field. When I started looking for an in-person volunteer opportunity with a local clinic, I could not find anything because I’ve only completed my freshman year, and volunteer positions in my area were limited to medical students.
Instead, I discovered that the Austin Disaster Relief Network needed help making masks. ADRN is a network of 200 churches in the Austin area that seeks to respond quickly in the event of disaster. I was involved in National Charity League in high school and had some experience with this organization, so I decided that this was how I could help out my community.
Sewing is a skill that my mom passed down to me many years ago and something that I really enjoy doing. There is something so satisfying about taking a strip of fabric and then creating something useful out of it. I soon learned that I could use this passion of mine to make something we needed: masks.
I’ve taken classes online all summer, and also am dedicated to keeping my golf game sharp through several hours of daily practice, but starting in early June, I began to sew masks. Late at night, after I fulfill class and golf obligations, I sew for about one to three hours. I’m able to produce masks much quicker now that I’ve had some practice and adjusted the steps in order to increase efficiency.
I usually do one of the steps in the process for that night for several masks and then move on to the next step for those masks the next night, creating an assembly line over several nights. This makes the process go much faster, and I have become much more efficient this way. I just passed my goal of making 100 masks, and I plan to continue making as many as I can until I return to Notre Dame.
I think that it is very important for everyone to wear a mask. At this point, there is a lot of research that supports this point. I wear a mask in order to protect myself, my family, my friends and everyone else in my community.
I believe that at Notre Dame, we can successfully complete the semester in person. However, this will take the full cooperation of every person on campus. We must acknowledge that things are going to be different. In order to restore everything to how it was before, we need to work together to make sure everyone follows the protocols put in place.
I hope that all of the students understand this and value the time we get on campus over activities that may put them at risk.
My teammates are like sisters to me and I am so glad that I have had them during this unprecedented time. I also have given my teammates the tour of my sewing set up and occasionally sew while video-chatting them. We have also started to include the incoming freshmen in our video chats so that they feel welcomed and excited to be a part of the team.
I cannot wait to go back to Notre Dame to see my friends and to just be back on campus. When I get back, I think I am going to take an hour to just walk around and soak it all in. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be going back, and I will fully appreciate every second I get on campus even more than I did before.
Until we meet again, Irish, stay safe and healthy.