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GuardianOnTheGo Coronavirus Response Project
By Mia M., YES Abroad 2018-2019, Malaysia
My YES Abroad host family in Malaysia opened my eyes to a plethora of new experiences, ideas, and concerns. My lovely host mother, in particular, showed me the importance of generosity and helping others, which has since become a major motivator in my life. She had me join her and her friends on multiple volunteer missions where we cooked meals and provided donations for infrastructure to the needy. Though I went there to help them, they helped me in so many (unanticipated) ways. Like my host mother, the service trips reinforced the notion of generosity and compassion. These experiences inspired me to give in any way that I can, because I now know that even a small effort can make a great difference in someone's life.
My personal philosophy, inspired through my experiences abroad, was big reason for why I started GuardianOnTheGo project. I wanted to utilize my own abilities (sewing and business management) to help, and engage others as well. Attitudes are contagious, and I knew that engaging the community would have an even bigger impact. One of my main hopes during this pandemic is that the exposure to the anxieties and confusion of insecurity, will elicit more compassion and empathy in others, all over the world. And, in my generation, I hope that it makes it “cool” to care.
The GaurdianOnTheGo Project aims to #flattenthecurve by engaging and empowering the community to take action during the Coronavirus pandemic, and to create positive change through using our collective creativity and skills. We sew and sell reusable masks out of recycled scrubs, and donate 100% of proceeds to support front liners, vulnerable communities, and Covid19 vaccine development. These masks are a sustainable option that comply with CDC recommendations, and help to ensure that hospital workers have access to the medical grade gear they need to properly protect themselves and treat patients.
I started out this project by doing some research into what was recommended by the CDC for face coverings, and began to develop a design for the masks. So far we have sold over 800 masks and raised $8000+ dollars to donate to different organizations that support front liners, help communities, and aid Covid19 vaccine development. We have been featured on multiple social media platforms, the Yes Abroad Alumni Association's Newsletter, a local news station in Louisville, the Courier Journal, and more.
GuardianOnTheGo hopes to engage as many people as possible, and we believe that the most effective way to make a difference is through majority participation. We want others to become enthusiastic about creating positive changes, taking action, and being compassionate. I have been collaborating with many people on this project including friends, family and YES Abroad alumus, Luka Wohl (YES Abroad, 2018-2019, India) who helped with the developed of the GuardianOnTheGo website.
Our goal for the future is to continue selling masks and donating to help the previously described causes throughout the duration of the pandemic. In the future, I hope to continue GuardianOnTheGo through organized community service projects and fundraising, whether we continue to sell masks or take a different approach.
If you would like to get involved, please contact me through the GuardianOnTheGo instagram and we can chat to see what you can contribute to the project. We’d love to have you!