Honorary RedShirt®

Taking on COVID with Her Sewing Machine

Khin has always had a talent for sewing and quilting. In fact, before she emigrated to the United States, she had owned a clothing shop in her native country of Burma where she would create and sell her own designs. Khin doesn’t speak very much English, but her efforts to help her community speak for themselves. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western New York area, Khin put her expertise to work.

With her sewing machine and lots of leftover fabric, she has sewn hundreds of masks for people in her neighborhood. She started by making 40 masks for her daughter-in-law Kelly’s students and then just continued to make them.

“Khin loves to help people in any way she can and she really enjoyed making masks for my students,” said Kelly. “She knew more people needed help and she wanted to do something. So, I posted on Facebook to get the word out to people in need, and we eventually gave out large numbers of masks this way. Our posts became so popular that the Karen Society of Buffalo reached out to us to make masks for them to hand out in the community.” As long as people in Western New York are in need of masks, Khin will be hard at work making them.