Emily Duckworth wanted to help her mother out in the early days of the pandemic, and so she did – making a plethora of masks for the latter’s workplace.
She kept on going from there and made several more that she’d go on to donate to local nursing homes. When she was done, everyone was a bit safer, to the tune of 300 masks to protect from COVID-19 infection.
“I knew a lot of people had to wear them for a lot of reasons, be it at work or because they’re vulnerable … and they’d have to go buy them,” Duckworth said. “I had the fabric and I didn’t really have to pay for anything. I wanted to help.”
The project took Duckworth, who just began her senior year at Hahnville High School, about a month to complete. Those on the receiving end of this kindness were touched by her selflessness, and in turn, Duckworth was as well by their appreciative gestures.
“(A nursing home representative) gave me a pin that said I became a maskmaker to save lives,” she said. “My mom’s work posted about it on Facebook. It made me feel pretty good.”
The instinct to help others is nothing new for Duckworth, who has long participated in service-oriented projects. As part of the Rainbow organization for the past seven years, she collected 200 pairs of shoes to ship to less fortunate areas in countries overseas.
She’s a third-generation member of that group, after her mother and grandmother. In the fall of 2018, she and her mother volunteered with an event for the National Down Syndrome Association, passing out T-shirts, raising awareness and keeping the event clean. At other events, they may serve or deliver food to enrich the cause.
Duckworth also has a soft spot for children, volunteering with the younger children at her church, Life Fellowship in Bayou Gauche.
“We attend service events throughout the year, kind of wherever we’re needed,” Duckworth said. “It’s rewarding, because it’s better to give than receive. When you see people’s reactions, it reminds you why you do it.”
Duckworth is very active at Hahnville High, a member of the band, Interact and the Rotary club. She was excited to have the chance to return to school last week, and was particularly eager to rejoin her fellow band members.
“I’m definitely ready to get back in the band room,” she said. “It was difficult to miss out on the end of last year, but it’ll be great to see everyone.