RuralEdge Tenant Donates Time and Stimulus Check to Make Masks to Give to Local Agencies
SAINT JOHNSBURY—From his RuralEdge apartment on Hastings Hill, Maurice Allen, of Saint Johnsbury, has seen the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to give back to his local community in any way he can. When he received his stimulus check from the federal government in March, Maurice knew he did not need it for his basic needs as many of his neighbors did. He decided that he would spend that money on materials to make masks for those in need. He did his research to find a way to make a mask that is in accord with CDC guidelines, while also providing a level of comfort that many masks do not. He makes large and small masks, with fun designs and are even reversible. With the help of his friend Darlene Kinkade, Maurice buys the material, makes five masks per day, each of which takes about an hour to make, and distributes them to agencies that can distribute them most effectively. To date, he has made over 500 masks with no plans to stop.
When asked about why he does this, Maurice says “I am usually home alone, and I like to find things to do. This seems like a good way to help people.”
To date, he has provided masks to many places including NEKCA, NKHS, NEK Council on Aging, and even Kinney Drugs for employees. Most recently, he gave masks to RuralEdge, the non-profit organization that manages the apartment he lives in. Robert Little, the Community Building and Engagement Manager at RuralEdge was thrilled to hear about the masks, and distributed 30 of them at the monthly food distribution at St Johnsbury’s Mountain View Apartments, also owned by RuralEdge. “If people were not wearing masks when coming for food, we would normally provide them with a single-use mask or, when those ran out, have to turn them away” He said. “It was great to provide residents with a quality mask that will serve them well, hopefully through the end of the pandemic!”
Patrick Shattuck, Executive Director at RuralEdge, shared “Maurice’s efforts and commitment to community are fantastic. His generosity and gifts are representative of so many of our tenants – who work every day to make their neighborhoods better places. When people have stable housing, there is no limit to what they can accomplish.”
As for how long he will keep making masks, Maurice says “I’m going to take a little break. It is very time consuming. But I do not plan on stopping.”