Spreading pride with rainbow face masks

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared on March 12 by the World Health Organization (WHO), Jessa’s Creations & Thrift has been hard at work keeping our communities safe by sewing non-medical face masks.

Jessa Blackburn, Canadian nurse and founder of Jessa’s Creations & Thrift, has sewn over 600 masks to help stop the spread of the deadly virus and flatten the curve across North America.

Jessa Blackburn creates and sells non-medical masks in support of the ‘Spread Pride, Not Germs’ fundraiser for PFLAG.

“As a first responder unable to work during the global pandemic, I found purpose in making non-medical face masks to help communities across North America,” Blackburn said. “It was my way of giving back and doing my part to help keep people healthy and safe.”

Two hundred masks have been donated to first responders, front-line workers and community outreach projects in Canada and the United States, including pop-up giveaways for members of the general public.

“As a Registered Nurse, I wanted to help the community obtain sustainable non-medical masks” Blackburn added. “When we do this, we help healthcare professionals and first responders by allowing them to access the proper personal protective equipment they need to safely do their jobs.”

Jessa’s Creations & Thrift is selling rainbow face masks for $20, with proceeds being donated to Pflag York Region, a local Canadian LGBTQ2 charity.

Pflag is a LGBTQ2 support, resource and education network. It is a 100 per cent volunteer-led organization serving one of the fastest-growing and multicultural regions in Canada. Every day, its volunteers are contacted by frightened adolescents and by angry, fearful or confused parents and family members who have questions or concerns about sexual orientation or gender identity. Pflag ensures that no call goes unanswered and no hand goes unheld. They are there for those in need when it seems like no one else is.

Due to COVID-19, Pflag has had to move its monthly support meetings online and cancel its annual charity gala which acts as a major source of funding for the organization that provides life-saving services to the community.

Many LGBTQ2 individuals live in unsupportive households and are having to self-isolate in these spaces. Support for our LGBTQ2 friends, family and allies is crucial during these challenging and unprecedented times.

“People like Jessa have been finding unique ways over the past few months to use their talents and resources to give back to organizations in need. The proceeds from these sales is a huge step towards ensuring Pflag’s survival at a time where our LGBTQ2 service users need us more than ever. Our communities are full of others like Jessa. No donation is too small or time too short to have an impact on someone’s life,” said Tristan Coolman, president of Pflag York Region.

To order your rainbow face mask, visit Jessa’s Creations & Thrift on Facebook at facebook.com/JessasCreations, then submit your order via Facebook Messenger with your email and mailing address. The masks are 100 per cent cotton with a filter pocket and are not medical grade.



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