Difference Maker: Emma Davenport of Masks Now Coalition


(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — At the start of the pandemic in March, 17-year-old Emma Davenport of Hanover Park wanted to do something to help.

"I'm kind of a mover and a shaker, and I love get my hands dirty and get into issues and problems and kind of solve them," she tells WBBM Newsradio’s Jim Gudas.

Davenport decided to make and donate cloth face masks.

"I thought I was going to maybe sew a couple of masks every day and just kind of send them on their way," she said.

But she became leader of the Illinois chapter of a group called the Masks Now Coalition, which distributes free face masks to nursing homes, food pantries, shelters and hospitals.

Since then, she says with the help of a team of volunteers, she's distributed far more masks than she could have ever imagined.

"We're actually at 47,055 masks distributed," she said.

Healthcare workers model masks provided by Mask Now Coalition. Photo credit provided to WBBM Newsradio

She's still getting requests for thousands of masks, as she faces more demands.

"I'm getting busier with school work as I am still a senior in high school, and we are seeing kind of a drop in our production a little bit," she said.

So, she's asking for help.

"If you can sew, that's great. If you can't sew but you still want to help, we do have a GoFundMe and that will fund the purchase of supplies and possibly the purchase of supplemental masks," she said.

For more information, go to the group's Facebook page.