Getting Masks to Those in Need

By: 
Eric Bailey

Wednesday afternoons for most people typically signify the halfway mark of a mundane workweek. For a group of motivated teens meetings via Zoom weekly, particularly for a local one, Wednesdays mean getting masks to those who need them.

Alicia Lund, 18, has been at the helm as director of communications for the Masks for All Ca Southern California chapter which organizes volunteers to handmake masks and face coverings which are then distributed through donation.

Lund, a Long Beach native, serves as the national representative for the Masks for All Ca Southern California chapter, which is based in San Francisco, and has chapters in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

“It was such an incredible feeling to finally receive all 150 masks from our volunteers, said Lund, reflecting on their first fulfilled order. “Counting them up and seeing physical evidence of all the hours of work everyone put in was such a big moment for us.”

MFA-SoCal has been manufacturing and distributing handmade masks to those in need throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties since May.

“One of the hardest things about building this chapter from the ground up was trying to reach out to the community for help,” said Lund. “Being able to hand the masks off to those who needed them made all the early struggle worth it.”

Masks for All Ca is the culmination primarily of high school seniors attending Lowell High School in San Francisco. A group of enthusiastic youth leaped at the opportunity to tackle COVID-19 head on.

They quickly branched out but getting MFA-SoCal off the ground was no easy feat.

“When we were first approached by the main chapter in San Francisco we honestly had no idea what we were doing,” said Lund. “But we asked the right questions, sought out the help of our peers from the other chapters and each other and were soon learning the ropes in how to build an organization from the ground up.”

Lund’s efforts in charity are rubbing off on those around her as well.

“When we first started up, we asked most of our friends to volunteer and expected many of them to say no,” she said. “But were very happy when they said yes and have continued to help us as school begins.”

Nonprofit work isn’t the only type of business Lund is versed in.

The high school senior has strong ties to the Beachcomber, riding her bike delivering newspapers every other Friday, teaming up with a friend while she was in middle school.

“I was never really into sports, so the paper route really helped me get the exercise that I needed, socially interact with a friend on a routine basis,” said Lund. “It also gave me something to do that also benefited me financially.”

Lund, following in the footsteps of her older siblings who also delivered for the Beachcomber before going off to college, has fond memories of riding her bike to do so.

“I was young and wanted to be included, but I was also not strong enough to carry the newspaper backpacks my siblings wore,” said Lund. “So I would bike with them as moral support.”

Donations can be made to MFA-SoCal by visiting https://www.masksforallca.org/donate. Each dollar donated creates one handmade to an at-risk individual across the nation.

eric@beachcomber.news

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