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Son inspired by his mother’s volunteer work

Tracey Chuvalo and her friends have made 2,500 masks and skull caps to help frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

One thing has remained constant during the COVID-19 pandemic – there has been a shortage of masks for frontline healthcare workers.

Many local residents, organizations and businesses have pitched in to start producing masks and other medical and safety materials, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer, to help with the shortage.

One local resident is praising his mother for stepping up and doing what she can to help the community during this time of need by making masks and skull caps for healthcare workers.

Joshua Chuvalo says his mother, Tracey Chuvalo, and her friends, Sue Galka Cousins, and Sandi McMillan, jumped into action to start making masks as soon as they heard there was need.

So far, the three women have made more than 2,500 masks and skull caps, which have been donated to many hospitals and healthcare facilities, including Lakeridge Health, Extendicare, Oshawa Firefighters, Durham Transit, St. Mike’s Hospital, Centenary Hospital, and Scarborough General.

“I watch her,” says Chuvalo of his mom. “She works 10-hour days at her day job, doing her normal day, and then she’s up until 11 at night or until she can’t stay awake and she’s making masks every night.”

He says the women have been using donated materials from within the community as a result of people seeing the pictures and videos they’ve been sharing on social media.

“She’s an inspiration to me. I know just from my own personal experience, and I’m sure others have felt the same, just being at home and watching the news can be depressing,” says Chuvalo, adding it’s hard not knowing when things will reopen and not being able to see loved ones.

“I come downstairs or I go on Facebook and I see pictures of my Mom and she’s working all day and then spending all her free time trying to help others to make sure they can do their jobs. It just makes me feel awesome,” he says, adding he hopes to inspire others in some way by sharing his mom’s story.