By Nathan Ham
Small and Mighty Acts, a civic group of members focused on supporting community efforts in Boone, is hoping their Mask Mask Revolution event on Saturday will lead to a lot more residents having access to fabric masks.
Small and Mighty Acts is a grassroots community group that started in 2016.
“The group is meant to help people reach their civic potential. It gets people involved in civic engagement and community care in lots of different ways,” said group member Cara Hagan, who is helping organize the mask donation event.
Sometimes the group will hold their own workshops and events, and other times they will get involved with other events that are already happening throughout Boone. With the COVID-19 pandemic and many health organizations encouraging or requiring people to wear masks to enter facilities, it seemed like a no-brainer for Small and Mighty Acts to pitch in and help get more masks available for people here.
“It is recommended that folks wear masks. Of course, since there is a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), it’s not like there is a bunch of stuff readily available so it has fallen on the citizens to create the kinds of things we need to be out in public together,” Hagan said.
Saturday’s Mask Mask Revolution event is hoping to kick-start more volunteers in the High Country making masks. There will be two community mask stations available. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts will have a box outside the main entrance starting May 5 and The Bluebird Exchange is allowing the use of their little free pantry for this purpose. Folks are encouraged to leave a mask if you have any to spare and take a mask if you need one.
“It’s about community care and this idea of I’m not wearing a mask just for me but I’m wearing one for you too. There is still so much we don’t know about the virus and who is susceptible to it,” says Hagan. “As long as we don’t know who is carrying and who is most adversely affected, it’s in our best interest to do whatever we can to protect each other and ourselves. At the end of the day when the pandemic is under control and we are looking back on this in history, I’d rather have had a more robust response than not enough of a response.”
Hagan added that she hopes this mask-making and mask-wearing drive will normalize the use of masks, get people access to masks that may not have access to them, and get people involved in the idea of community care.
Nicole Hiegl, the Director of the High Country Agency on Aging has requested masks and the Small and Mighty Acts group is stepping up to the plate to make that happen. The Project on Aging has a need for masks for both staff and clients in order to offer their services during the extended pandemic. Small and Mighty Acts will be making 150 masks for them to start off.
If you are interested in volunteering to make masks for Small and Mighty Acts or are interested in what they do, check them out on Facebook, on Instagram @smallandmightyacts or on their website at smallandmightyacts.org.