When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Ohio schools in March, Zoe Nicholas struggled to find ways to help her community as an eighth grader at Our Lady of the Elms. When middle school religion teacher Jill Murrin contacted her with a way to help, Nicholas, now in ninth grade, jumped on the opportunity. An avid volunteer at her church, she was excited to be part of a sewing project that offered a way to relieve pressure from protective masks from health care workers’ ears.
I thought it was such a cool thing that I could contribute something that’s good for the health care workers. They have to wear masks every day, and my ears get sore from just wearing one shopping. I thought it was a cool idea to sew buttons on headbands so they could work as “ears” to connect the mask to.
I went to the school and grabbed three of the packets. Each included two buttons and a black headband. I went home, my mom had thread and needles, so I just used the thread she had. My mom, when I was little, really liked to sew, so I got into it. I learned in elementary school.
The headband you could fold in half, and there’s a seam on one end.
I just put a pin on that seam and sewed a button on the opposite side of the seam.
As a 14-year-old girl, it’s kind of hard to contribute. You can’t really volunteer anywhere.
So it felt nice. I learned that just helping somebody or a certain cause feels really good. I just felt like I couldn’t really do anything, and it felt really good to do something and be able to help somebody else.
— as told to Abigail Cloutier