Stonecroft resident’s face masks help to raise nearly $12,500 for St. Mary’s General Hospital

Linda Brodrecht has single-handedly raised thousands of dollars for Kitchener’s St. Mary’s General Hospital by selling fabric face masks she’s made to family, friends and neighbours.

The resident of Stonecroft in New Hamburg is as stunned by the incredible success of her project. Since early March, Brodrecht has sewn 320 masks that she’s sold in exchange for free-will donations totalling $6,200 so far. Manulife has offered to match all donations to the St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation up to $200,000, which means the revenue from Brodrecht’s mask sales will be doubled. “This project is having a very positive impact on the hospital’s budget,” said Brodrecht.

The funds raised will be used to purchase critical equipment and supplies the hospital urgently needs to protect frontline healthcare providers.

Like many people, Brodrecht started to look for a way to help her community when the COVID-19 pandemic began to make its effects felt locally. It was her husband, Bruce, who provided the inspiration. “He said to me, ‘You like to sew, so why not make face masks for people?’”

Brodrecht found a pattern she could work with, and made more than 50 masks for family and friends. It was after she posted a message on the Stonecroft community’s website, offering to produce masks for fellow residents, that things really took off. By April 20, she’d raised over $1,600 from mask sales, and at the end of the month, that total passed $4,100. “My heart is full of gratitude for all your support,” she told her fellow residents.

Orders are placed either via email or the Stonecroft website, where Brodrecht posted a product description and instructions that will avoid any personal contact.

“Each pleated mask is 100% cotton and is designed with a filter pocket and nose wire. Typically, I email you a photo, from which you may choose your masks. I will notify you when I have packaged your choice and placed it in the mailbox at my front door. Then, simply drop by at your convenience to exchange your donation for your face masks,” she said.

When Brodrecht’s fabric stash started to dwindle, she began looking out for good deals so she could continue production. It looked like that would come to a temporary halt when she started to run out of twist ties, pipe cleaners, and elastic, which she uses for ear straps. “I couldn’t find it anywhere. Elastic is the new toilet paper,” she joked. Thankfully, fellow Stonecrofters came to the rescue, dropping off supplies at her house.

Brodrecht says she plans on continuing for as long as there’s a demand.

Anyone interested in buying masks can place their order by emailing ac.thcerdorb@adnil.