Two younger Mundelein sisters have turned an inventive exercise designed to beat the tedium of their COVID-19 quarantine right into a enterprise that finally helps folks in want.
Ten-year-old Jaina Bartusch and her 11-year-old sister, Olivia, are the brains and brawn behind 2 Little Masks Makers. Utilizing a Cricut crafting machine, the women enhance and promote cloth protecting masks adorned with iron-on designs.
They’ve donated all cash after bills to the Northern Illinois Food Bank or purchased backpacks and different faculty provides which are, in flip, given to needy Mundelein Elementary District 75 college students.
Since launching the enterprise in August, they’ve adorned and bought greater than 280 masks, donated $300 to the meals financial institution and bought $455 price of provides for the varsity district.
“It appears like I am serving to lots of people,” stated Jaina, a fifth-grader at Mechanics Grove Elementary Faculty in Mundelein. “It feels good to offer issues to individuals who want them.”
Jaina and Olivia began adorning masks this summer time after their mom, Amy Bartusch, acquired the crafting machine as a birthday reward. The ladies needed to see what they might do with it.
“We have been bored and had nothing else to do,” Jaina recalled.
Jaina and Olivia first adorned some masks for an aunt who acquired so many compliments that she urged the sisters begin promoting them.
The ladies purchase masks at retail shops after which enhance them with photos of canine, cats, flowers, superhero emblems, athletic logos, stars and lots of different designs. They’ve added phrases like “Comfortable Holidays” and “Cat individual” to some and folks’s initials to others.
Those with initials and pictures are Olivia’s favorites as a result of they’re so customized.
“It is enjoyable to do,” stated Olivia, a sixth-grader at Mundelein’s Carl Sandburg Center Faculty.
The sisters got here up with the thought of donating income to the meals financial institution. As for the varsity district, they’ve donated 15 backpacks, together with 5 filled with provides.
Amy Bartusch and her husband, Jeremy, are understandably happy with their daughters’ ingenuity, work and philanthropy.
“We’re all the time attempting to show the women about giving again to the neighborhood and to these much less lucky,” Amy Bartusch stated. “Once they got here to us and stated ‘We wish to donate the income,’ I used to be very touched.”
Mechanics Grove Principal Tanya Fergus known as the women “true leaders.”
“Our student-created faculty mission assertion is ‘Inspiring type leaders; making ready for shiny futures,'” Fergus stated. “Jaina and Olivia have a really shiny future forward of them.”
Jaina and Olivia promote and promote their merchandise on social media, with assist from their dad and mom. Their pages will be discovered at facebook.com/2MaskMakers and at instagram.com/2_little_mask_makers.
The masks price $5 every, plus delivery if wanted. Of that value, $2 is donated to one of many two benefiting organizations.
Though the enterprise is enjoyable, Jaina admitted it may be difficult.
“Our largest order was 14 masks, and it was form of annoying,” she stated.
Olivia stated the operation was particularly good to run whereas the household was holed up this summer time due to the pandemic. Now that college has began, their classwork is a precedence, she stated — however they’re persevering with to take orders.
Maeven Sipes, vp of philanthropy for the Geneva-based meals financial institution, stated the sisters’ donation “exemplifies the great we are able to all do after we come collectively to deal with points impacting our neighborhood. Northern Illinois Meals Financial institution is lucky to have so many compassionate donors within the communities we serve.”