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Righetti High School student sewing masks for coronavirus crisis

Righetti High School student sewing masks for coronavirus crisis

Madi Curran, sewing

Righetti High School student Madi Curran sews another mask to be donated to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where nurses are wearing them over their N95 masks to extend their use.

A Righetti High School art student has put her last two weeks of sheltering at home to good use by helping in the battle against COVID-19.

Madison “Madi” Curran started sewing safety masks for family March 21 and is now turning them out for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Madi spent the first 20 minutes of her project learning to use a Brother sewing machine, said school district spokesman Kenny Klein.

Then she followed a pattern and instructions from a hospital source, combining cloth and elastic to sew six masks a day.

“I'm incredibly proud of her,” said her Righetti art teacher, Melissa Johnson, who said what Madi — also a school spirit leader — is doing represents a “lovely counterbalance to all the sadness and hardship going on in the county,” adding, “We [at Righetti] have terrific students.”

Madi said she started making masks because her mother needed protection while out of the house doing essential activities like shopping.

Masks by Madi Curran

Surgical-style masks created by Righetti High School art student Madi Curran at the rate of six per day are being donated to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

After filling her mother's request, Madi said she kept sewing and giving masks to “everyone else who needs protection so we can all get back to normal and I can go back to school.”

Johnson said after distributing masks to her family members, Madi asked her mom where else they could be donated, and one of her mother’s friends, a nurse, suggested Cottage Hospital.

Although the masks are not made with fabric approved for filtering out viruses, Klein said the Cottage Hospital nurses are using them over their N95 safety masks to help keep them cleaner and extend their use.

Madi said she has no end goal and just plans to keep sewing masks every day and “continue until this is over.”

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at

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