Mercer Artist: Sanaa Yusuf creates masks to benefit the homeless community

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Image: Chance Allen

Junior Sanaa Yusuf wears a handmade mask.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to adjust by wearing face masks, many are looking for various masks to collect for their daily use. If you’re one of those people, then junior neuroscience major Sanaa Yusuf has the perfect masks just for you. 

Yusuf got started making masks when they came to the realization that many homeless communities would be negatively affected by the pandemic.

“I was having a bit of a crisis during the pandemic when I realized that there are people who don’t have access to masks, specifically those in Atlanta’s homeless communities,” they said. “My cousin was involved with a GoFundMe to provide care packages to Atlanta’s homeless community so I figured that I could start making masks to sell and to give to my cousin to hand out.”

Yusuf learned how to use their mother’s sewing machine and quickly figured that fabric masks aren’t viable options for the homeless community since they have to be cleaned every day. With the money they collected from fabric mask sales, they began to donate funds for disposable masks for homeless people.

Yusuf has been creating masks on an informal and small scale, taking orders from their Instagram account and by word of mouth. Their masks are good quality, double-layered, 100% cotton fabric masks with pipe cleaners for metal nose wires. The masks are put together with the sewing machine and have elastic straps as the ear loops. 

The original GoFundMe that Yusuf was donating to has closed, but they hope to continue to donate funds to other causes to support those in need.

“Hopefully mask sales will continue to help fund all of those as well as provide people with masks that they enjoy wearing,” they said.

To order your very own mask from Yusuf, contact them through their Instagram account.