Charlotte Tucksmith ’22 is a Wagner College nursing student from Chatham, N.Y., a small village south of Albany.
“There were only 90 kids in my graduating class for the whole town,” Tucksmith said. “It’s very close, and I know almost everyone I see.”
In March, the coronavirus pandemic forced New York State to start shutting down different sectors of society to prevent the spread of the virus.
Among them was Wagner College, which announced that it was closing its residence halls and shifting all classes to the internet for the rest of the spring semester.
Tucksmith went home to Chatham, engaged with her professors and classmates online … and looked for something constructive to do with her free time.
“As we all know, protective face masks are getting harder and harder to find,” Tucksmith said. “I own a sewing machine, and I began making face masks out of fabric for family members. A close family friend posted on Facebook that I was making masks and could make some for others — and the response blew my mind! I got so many orders that I had to put a two-week wait on them.”
The project connected Tucksmith to her community in ways she hadn’t expected.
“Since I live in such a small town, the whole community has been helping,” she said. “People I don’t know directly are offering me fabric, thread, and all types of support. It’s a really great experience, getting involved with my community while I’m giving back.”
Instead of putting the profits from her project into her own pocket, Tucksmith wanted the proceeds to benefit a local charity.
“I realized that many families relied on the lunches provided by the schools for their children,” she said, “but since the schools are no longer open, a lot of parents have to be buying more groceries. Simultaneously, a lot of people have lower incomes — or no incomes at all.”
She decided to give the proceeds from her mask sales to the Chatham Area Silent Pantry, the local nonprofit food bank. By the time she wraps up her project, Tucksmith expects to give the food bank around $800.
Three cheers for Charlotte Tucksmith ’22, today’s Seahawk Making a Difference!
Do you know of a member of the Wagner College community — undergraduate or graduate student, faculty or staff member, or alumnus — who is doing something to make a positive difference during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know! Just visit the “Wagner in the Community” page on our website.