Birdsboro 7th grader Myah Derer, age 12, a Cadette Girl Scout in Daniel Boone Girl Scout Service Unit Troop #1797, has been sewing much-needed masks for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Myah has been working on some community service making much-needed masks during this pandemic. Myah has been working hard on this rainy day.” her mother Cory Derer said Saturday, March 28. “We are going to do our best to keep making them.”
A Scout since kindergarten, Myah explained that one of her troop leaders is an EMT and Myah heard that supplies were running low for first responders.
“People working on the frontline are starting to get scared, and this was one way that I could help,” said Myah.
Her goal is to make as many masks as she can to help stop the spread of this virus.
“I’d like try and use this to earn my Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette can earn,” she said.
Myah, along with her mother Cory, started sewing masks for healthcare workers as a community service project on March 16.
“I’ve only been sewing for a year. This was a simple pattern; it didn’t take long to learn,” she said. “I really like matching the cute fabrics. I hope that they will cheer up nurses and their patients.”
The masks have a pocket on the inside to put a disposable filter, and she has now started making them reversible. Friends and neighbors have dropped off fun fabrics and elastic.
"I taught her how to sew, she picked it up quickly! We’ve been working together, I enjoy spending the time with her," said her mother, Cory. "When we received a large request for them one of us would pin and cut fabric and the other one would sew. My heart is full knowing that she is doing something to help complete strangers!"
Last week she handed out dozens to friends and family members that work in healthcare or are first responders, and made 15 masks for the nursing home, said Cory.
Jeny Siatkowski, a PTA working in the rehab department short term and long term care setting in a nursing home in Collegeville, reached out to Myah Derer who was able to make and provide to the whole rehab team with a mask.
"We really appreciate her time to do that and to help us so we can continue doing our job and at the same time keeping us safe," said Siatkowski.
She recently made 20 masks for Amanda Miller at St. Joe’s Hospital.
Miller, who works as a CAN, explained that when a friend of hers was reaching out to find resources on making masks, she did a little research herself and came across a Facebook post about what Myah was doing.
“The unit that I work on could definitely use the masks. Maybe not while at work at this time, but maybe it would ease some anxiety when going home to their families or going out in public after being exposed to patients with this virus,” said Miller. “After reaching out to Corey, Myah's mom, we were blessed by her treasure of masks she supplied to our unit. They not only provide protection out in public, but if needed, could potentially save health workers from mask less events and with capability of adding filtration.”
“This young lady is amazing and deserves to be recognized for her dedication and innovation for the health workers in our community,” added Miller.
“So far we’ve made 75 masks, by the end of this rainy weekend there will be many more,” Myah said. “I plan on continuing to make masks after the pandemic is over, I’d like to bring smiles to children with cancer and cystic fibrosis who need to wear masks due to their low immune system.”
On March 30, Myah was approved by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania to use this project to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award. She will need to spend 50 hours working on the project, most of which she’s already done, said her mother.
“We just want everyone to stay healthy!” said Cory.
Myah started a blog, Myah’s Creations, with a tutorial on how to make her masks. Visit https://myahscreations.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/myahs-creations/?fbclid=IwAR05skyyyz0Z6IbFtI-aGBWH4p3h7POi5h8OKNYUfEvfMYLnZk3x9oK_3iQ.