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Women donate mask contributions to Southern Tier non-profits

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(WBNG) -- Many people around the Southern Tier have stepped in to make masks, donating them to emergency crews and other front line workers.

Three local women are doing that, while also supporting local non-profits.

Kathleen Howell, her sister Carolyn Ross, and Carolyn's daughter Mary Howland started making masks back in March.

They first made them to donate to the Union Volunteer Emergency Squad, but since then, their efforts have grew, reaching more people.

"Of course people wanted to pay for them and we didn't want to make any money on the pandemic," said Howell.

Instead of collecting money for supplies, the women took any contributions and are donating them to local non-profits.

So far, they have raised at least $2,500, helping five organizations with $500 each.

"We're real pleased to be able to help people avoid catching this terrible virus and to be able to give back to the organizations that we've chosen," said Howell.

Two organizations the women have helped are Mercy House and Danielle House, non-profits that hit close to home.

"We just lost a brother a year ago in March to cancer. I know that they do a lot of work with people at the end of their lives and they're so giving," said Howell.

They've also donated to the Broome County Humane Society, Tioga County Rural Ministry, and the Girl-Up club at Union Endicott High School.

"It's just wonderful to be able to help people. That's just how we were raised, you help each other and you work for your community and your families, so we're very, very proud," said Howell.

They hope to continue to help organizations who are facing harsh realities during this time.

"Right now, it's hard for people even to give donations. A lot of people are out of work, so it's hard," said Howell.

If you're interested in getting a mask, or making a donation, you can contact Mary Howland by email at

Annie Flaherty

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