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Madissen Burns putting masks together for her College of St. Scholastica work study. She made a grand total of 54. (Photo submitted by Madissen Burns)

Masks are becoming a hot item, both to have and to make. So much so that in order to encourage everyone to be a part of their community, some colleges are offering work studies to students to make masks. The College of St. Scholastica is one of these, and a local student in Watertown, Madissen Burns, used her talent to create masks for places in need in Carver County.

“I had a job on campus, and since that wasn’t meeting, we got contacted for a work study,” said Burns. “I figured I could do something helpful and still be able to work.”

Before the pandemic, Burns was working hard in between classes at the campus Einstein Bros. With campus of course shut down thanks to the pandemic, Burns and many other students were out of jobs. In response, CSS gave those work study students an opportunity to not only work, but also to give back.

While it wasn’t every student in the school, a little over 30 participated in the work study, according to Burns. They had from the middle of March to just last week to put their masks together as part of the work study. All the masks were then given to the students’ place of choice. In Burns’ case, she had her masks sent around to Waconia’s Lakeview Clinic and Iten Funeral Home.

“I made 54 masks,” said Burns. “As whole, we made over 1000.”

With the college year over, the work study has also come to an end. However, that doesn’t mean Burns is done making masks. Nowhere close, in fact.

“My boyfriend’s mom is very crafty and donated supplies to me,” she said. “So I’ve got plenty of supplies to make more.”

Her plan while she’s making masks is twofold. For the first, she uses connections to make donations. Her aunt works at Lakeview, for example, which is how she knew to donate to them. She also regularly looks through Facebook to check and see which local facilities are asking for donations. Once she’s found a place, she reaches out.

If you or someone you know needs masks, though, Burns will happily help. She can be contacted at her email, mburns2@css.edu, for mask requests.

“I think it’s really great that CSS offered such a unique opportunity for a work study,” she said.

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