Making Masks to Make an Impact

Making Masks to Make an Impact
Posted on 03/24/2021
Making Masks to Make an Impact

The grade 4 classrooms at W. Erskine Johnston Public School are bustling with activity. Students are designing masks, stamping logos, preparing orders, filming PSAs, recording podcasts, creating webpages, and meeting virtually with community partners. 

It’s all part of the student-run social enterprise Made2Help, which designs, produces, and sells masks to donate proceeds to community partners, including the Kanata Food Cupboard.

Guided by teacher Mr. Whiting, two grade 4 classes have been leading this non-profit project since the fall. They made project teams to handle everything from mask production to marketing, and tested 15 prototypes to find just the right materials. They also held virtual meetings to learn from experts like a Cornell MBA graduate and Etsy entrepreneur.

In February, the Made2Help team began selling the masks to their school community and were thrilled to sell 16 masks on their first day! They are now working on fulfilling their first order. Each cotton mask is hand-stamped with the school and Made2Help logos and quarantined for 72 hours before being delivered.

The young entrepreneurs hope that their experiential learning will help others in their community and beyond. Here’s what they had to say about the project...

What’s your favourite thing that you learned through this project?

“My favorite thing that I learned in this project is how people actually work and attract people to buy products in various ways. Another favorite thing I learned in this business is to read over my work, how to write professionally and how to deal with people politely exactly like a real business.” – Tanya

“I learned: 1. To be confident when speaking in a PSA or while giving a pitch and not to be shy. 2. To ask for advice from your classmates or team when you needed help. 3. To be focussed and do one thing at a time with all details. 4. Do your best.” – Dravya

“My favourite thing that I learned through this project is that I can now make a budget and other stuff on google sheets. This will help me in the future if I am going to start a business.” – Kyle

Tell me about a challenge you faced while working on Made2Help. How did you solve it?

“We were having troubles making the website, and updating it. So, we kept on trying and working hard and the hard work paid off! We are so happy our work can be shown to the world!” – Tara

“When I was not able to use an app correctly a friend of mine showed me how to use it. To me this is what's going to make our business successful, teamwork and friendship. Remember whenever you have a hard time doing something teamwork and friendship can always solve the problem.” – Vidita

How do you hope to make a difference in your community through Made2Help?

“I hope to make a difference in the community by raising and donating money to the Kanata Food Cupboard so then people would see that and want to buy masks to donate as well. I wanted the logo to look really good so people would like to buy a mask and wear it in public. I also want people to donate to vulnerable people all over Ottawa.” – Felicia

“I love to help people when they are in need. It makes me feel really good on the inside. It feels like if I help 1 person, with the help of my friends, we might be able to help the whole world!” – Aanya

little girl wearing mask masks

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