Senior makes masks to help community

Rio Americano senior Rosie Finnecy is using her time while sheltering in place to make face masks to help medical community


Photo By SJUSD

Senior Julia or “Rosie” Finnecy seen in her yearbook picture.

Emma Hutchinson, Mirada Staff

While students are stuck at home under the shelter-in-place order, many find the news about the increasing severity of the novel coronavirus depressing, and many who are in self-quarantine at home miss seeing their friends. But some have taken the time at home to make a difference for others and improve the world around them. 

Senior Rosie Finnecy has a passion for sewing, and many people in her classes would tell you about how she has not only sewn some of her own clothing and her prom dress but how she also uses her passion to help others. Earlier in the year, she sewed scrunchies and sold them at lunch to buy feminine hygiene products and diapers for refugee women in the Sacramento area, and has also been known to sew gifts for her friends and family. 

During this quarantine time, Finnecy has taken full advantage of her extra time to make a positive impact on the healthcare community working so hard to maintain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Finnecy said she was inspired to make the masks after seeing a post from a friend and nurse in the community saying that she needed handmade masks for herself but didn’t know how to sew. Finnecy didn’t stop at trying to help her family friends, she decided to reach out into the community and make masks for other healthcare workers who would need them. 

That family friend who inspired Finnecy was cardiac ICU nurse Laura Lehrer who works at Mercy General Hospital and has a daughter who attends Rio.

“Rosie was the first person to offer to start making masks for our family and she is most likely helping to flatten the curve of COVID-19,” Lehrer said. “Her masks are being worn by ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, administrators and security personnel at Mercy General Hospital.”

Finnecy has made about 80 masks so far, with half of them being donated to the Lehrer family and half to another healthcare worker in need in the area. Finnecy has made two styles of masks to accommodate different needs by different hospitals. 

“I used a YouTube video that was super simple to follow for some and online instructions for the others,” Finnecy said. “Some hospitals are requesting certain styles which is why I made two different ones.”

With all of the extra free time that comes with the statewide shelter-in-place order, many students are trying out new hobbies and finding new ways to keep their brains active and keep from getting bored. Learning to sew and create a useful and impactful product such as masks for healthcare workers can be a great way to give back to the community while learning something new. 

Finnecy says that she thinks that it is especially important to find ways to give back during challenging times like right now because everyone is going through something different. 

“Mrs. Lehrer’s post made me realize that this is not a vacation for all of us and I saw making masks as one small way I could contribute,” Finnecy said. “It has also given me something to do during quarantine which is nice.”

People like senior Rosie Finnecy serve as bright spots in a time that can seem very dark and discouraging. 

Healthcare worker Laura Lehrer speaks for everyone in expressing her appreciation for Finnecy’s contributions. 

“I can’t thank her enough.”

Masks made by senior Rosie Finnecy.
Masks made by senior Rosie Finnecy