A pair of teens in Texas came up with a clever way to reverse the shortage of face masks—and help protect the homeless population in their hometown, at the same time.
Matthew and Jeremy Jason had already been volunteering every Friday with an organization that feeds the hungry in downtown Houston. After the COVID-19 pandemic started, they came up with the idea of using the traditional skull caps worn during religious events and turning them into face masks.
The brothers have collected a lot of these caps on various special occasions over the years, like their coming-of-age Bar Mitzvahs.
“We decided to put them to good use,” Matthew told GNN.
The youngest of three brothers who belong to the Brith Shalom congregation, he and his siblings asked their synagogue to help collect the kippahs (the Hebrew word for yarmulke), calling their campaign ‘Kippahs to the Rescue’.
“In less than a week we were able to collect enough of them to make 160 face masks,” said Matthew. “My parents, brothers and I worked very hard to sew elastic bands on them, and they were ready to be delivered by Friday.”
“It was so great to see how I was able to help out, and people were so appreciative.”
The Jewish congregation continues to donate the caps and, to date, the family has collected 693—and sewn 316 of them.
Matthew hopes that if people like the idea, they can do the same in their own communities. Just sew both ends of a six-inch elastic strips on each side to anchor the cap around the ears.
A high school sophomore at the Awty International School, Matthew has been ‘mensch’ for years. To honor his Bar Mitzvah, he launched Street Birthdays, which celebrates birthdays for homeless people—and it is still going strong. Once every month, he brings cakes and candles and sings Happy Birthday to all who were born in that month.
WATCH Jeremy’s fun video below…