APOPKA, Fla. – A couple of friends in Apopka are making the best out of their quarantine time by making special clips for people to secure their face masks.
The S-shaped hooks are made with Jenny Andry’s laser-cutting machine. Since she began her mission to give back to the community, she’s made 8,000 of the acrylic accessories being used by healthcare workers in Central Florida hospitals, medical centers in Georgia, Wisconsin and a hospital in New York.
"They do not have to put the strap around their ears at all," Jenny said, "I heard that everybody was-- all the healthcare professionals were getting sore ears from wearing their masks for 12 hours a day."
The sore ears can occur due to the elastic bands on surgical masks that go around the ears. The central Florida native decided to get to work after she saw a post about the hooks on a Facebook group.
“For a short period of time; no problem but for many hours, you’re working, you’re sweating, you’re talking to patients, you’re moving at a fast pace, it starts to rub behind the ear,” Jamie Powell, a good friend and neighbor of Andry’s said.
Powell is also helping Jenny make the clips.
"I was happy to help Jenny on her mission you know, to save ears," Powell said. "It eliminates from touching the ears. It keeps your mask secure and it's very comfortable you can't even feel it."
For Andry, she says it’s a small part she’s doing and hopes others do their part to show some kindness through these difficult days.
"Even if it's just telling somebody at the grocery, you know, one of the cashiers, at the grocery store, thank you for being here," she said.
An example of how a simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way, Jenny has received numerous thank you texts and pictures from nurses and medical staff using the clips.
“Nobody needs to pay for these," she said. "Everything was donated to me. It’s not costing me anything to do it.”
To request a free acrylic hook from Jenny, contact her via email firstname.lastname@example.org.