As The Success Foundation’s MaskDistrict6 Campaign is well on its way, the community has been showing overwhelming support. This includes recent alumni, Sammi Wahlmeier, who has pledged to make 1,500 masks for the campaign.
Sammi Wahlmeier is a class of 2020 graduate from Northridge High School. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, she has been one of millions of students all over the world who lost the last few months of their senior year. For Wahlmeier specifically, she missed tennis season, prom, graduation, and the chance to see her boyfriend in North Carolina. This has been devastating for her, and has become part of the reason why she is making masks for the community, saying that “Wearing these masks and quarantining will stop the spread of this disease and give the upcoming seniors all the opportunities we did not receive.”
Sammi isn’t the only one making the masks in her household, her whole family has been helping in order to get out as many masks as they can out to the community. With 4 sewing machines and new fabric every week, there’s never a dull moment in the house. “We are so lucky to have this bonding experience,” Wahlmeier says.
The Wahlmeier family was originally inspired to start making masks after seeing how much the community was in need of them. “We would be scrolling through Facebook and see someone reaching out to find masks. Many were charging nearly $10 or more and we wanted to give people the protection our community needs at a cheap low cost,” Sammi says. “We know this change is going to be something difficult on everyone so we wanted to do our part.” When the family isn’t making masks, they spend their free time working on house projects such as building a backyard gazebo or remodeling their kitchen.
Sammi’s younger sister and brother will be going back to school in-person in the fall. Her mother works in the Intensive Function Learning Department at Northridge High School and her father is a Fed-Ex driver. With unexpected budget cuts for her household and everyday exposure from her father going out to work, she’s found it especially important that everyone wear a mask to protect others. With her brother born with a heart defect and weaker immune system, they “wear masks for his, ours, and our community’s protection. Personally my family would be devastated if we exposed anyone to the pandemic occurring which is the reason we keep these masks on!”
After completing the 1,500 mask order for The Success Foundation, her family plans to return to making masks for the community for as long as they can. When asked about her advice to students going back to in-person learning this year, she tells them to stay positive and to be flexible. “It may not be everything you expected it to be, but if you look on the bright side of this, it will be something you remember years down the road. Make it your own unique experience!”
The Success Foundation is currently trying to raise $30,000 to buy 13,000 adult masks and are relying on the community to make the other 7,000 child sized masks. If you would like to donate to this campaign or volunteer to sew, click the link blow!