Stitching for safety

Hahm family donating homemade masks to local facilities


Photo courtesy Joshua Hahm

Coppell freshman Jacob Hahm and his brother Connections Academy junior Joshua wear masks and display the Korean symbol of love. Over six weeks, the Hahm family has made and donated more than 2,000 masks to local hospitals to help medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shivi Sharma, CHS9 Editor

Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients across the country are grappling with a severe lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and many are forced to use the same face masks for multiple days. 

For Coppell freshman Jacob Hahm and his family, hearing about the shortages inspired them to start sewing.  

In six weeks, the Hahm family has donated more than 2,000 masks to more than seven medical facilities, including Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Grapevine, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Carrollton Regional Medical Center.

“We saw on the news that many hospitals are running low on medical supplies, including masks,” Hahm said. “We decided to do our part and started making these masks and donating them to local medical facilities.”    

Using two layers of rectangular 100% cotton material, sewing the pieces together and fastening strings to the side, a single mask is made. By establishing stations for individual tasks within their home, the process of making batches of masks to donate has become more efficient.   

“This process was not easy for us in the beginning,” said brother Joshua Hahm, a junior in Connections Academy online school. “It did take a lot of time. Simple things like ironing and packaging and just making the mask have become much faster than before. We all have our own separate jobs we need to do. During this time when everyone’s stressed out and panicking, it brings our family together to work towards a goal.”

Lacking guidelines for the sizes and shapes of the masks, the family called medical facilities for specifics when they started stitching. Soon, they were receiving requests, particularly after the county-wide order to require facial coverings in all public locations on April 15.

“What we’ve learned is if you want to donate to certain hospitals, the best way for now is to reach out to them,” Jacob’s mother Michelle Hahm said. “Every hospital has their own criteria and their own sizes. If you are looking to help out and donate to the hospitals, just check out their website and search for donations.”

Members of the community, particularly elders, became interested in contributing when they heard about the Hahms’ efforts through local newspapers. In addition to making and donating their own masks, the family began dropping off fabric to individual homes, teaching people how to make the masks and collecting them to deliver. 

“A lot of our friends are doctors, and they’re struggling all day, and even when they get home, they can’t be close to their families because they’re scared after being around the virus,” Joshua said. “We didn’t think it was going to be this big, where we could bring the community together and help out this much, but sitting at home all day made us want to do something to help people around us.”

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