Resnick children wearing home made protective face-masks (Courtesy)

The Resnick family in Samaria sews protective face masks in their home and donates the proceeds to an organization that purchases medical supplies for hospitals.

By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler

While parents are struggling to keep their children occupied during the coronavirus lockdown, the Resnicks in Karnei Shomron, Samaria have found a creative and fun way to contribute to Israel’s battle against the coronavirus.

The parents and children produce colorful protective face masks and donate the proceeds to an organization that purchases tens of thousands of professional-grade protective masks for medical personnel.

“Our kids were actually really excited to have to stay home due to coronavirus as they have happy memories of the days they were home-schooled,” said Yael Harris Resnick, who moved to Israel from California seven years ago with husband Benjamin and their four children.

“Though their teachers were giving lessons over Zoom [since the corona crisis started], everyone was getting stressed out and frustrated with the schedules and the pressure being placed on them in an already stressful situation. We also don’t have enough technology for everyone to keep up with their teachers,” Resnick told United with Israel (UWI).

The Resnicks sat down as a family and brainstormed what they could do to help the community and maintain a positive attitude in their home.

“After some research, we found the differences between hospital worker masks and what is suitable for a non-medical uses. We learned to make protective face masks safe for use in public settings,” Resnick said. “I am an artist and have lots of supplies in the house, including a lot of fabric, as I make challah covers and my three older daughters learned to sew when we were home-schooling. We all agreed this was a perfect project for us.”

She put out a request for donations of old sheets and elastic. Within five minutes they had what they needed.

“We became a mask factory,” Resnick said. “The family got to work, assigning each person a different job. My oldest arranges the pick-ups and drop-offs of the masks. My eight-year-old son now learned to sew and is helping the others. My husband turns the masks inside out.”

The Resnicks produce about 25-35 masks a day and ask for a donation of 5 NIS (about $1.50) per mask. All donations go towards purchasing professional N95 face masks for medical personnel, as there are shortages in Israel.

To date, Miriam Lottner, who is spearheading efforts to get medical-grade masks to Israel’s doctors and nurses in hospitals, ordered and shipped 14,000 masks, and another 10,000 have just been arranged. The Resnick family’s efforts have contributed to Lottner’s success.

“With the new directives that anyone who leaves home must wear a mask, we want to ensure that all who need [masks] get [them], even without donating,” Resnick said. “However, so many people who know the money is going to help others have donated much more than we are asking. It is heartwarming.”

Resnick said that so many people in other communities have requested her family’s home-made masks that they made a video showing the process so that others can also learn how to do it.

“This initiative has had a big, positive ripple effect,” Resnick said. “Universal mask-wearing prevents virus particles from becoming airborne, preventing others from getting infecting and keeping oneself safe.

“It’s a way of protecting others in case you contracted coronavirus even if you haven’t shown any symptoms. We are praying everyone stays healthy and are grateful that we can help do our part.”