Toronto woman hand-paints smiles onto masks to raise money for charity
TORONTO -- Sandy Gordon’s mask may cover her mouth, but it’s not hiding her expression.
“I know that if someone can’t see me smiling, they can see my ‘smile,’” she tells CTV News Toronto.
The Toronto woman has been hand-painting personal protective equipment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, crafting colourful masks with big goofy grins.
“They all get the same reaction – ‘Wow, I love your smile, I love that mask, where did you get it,’” Gordon says.
A friend suggested she sell the masks. Gordon decided she would, but for a good cause.
Recently, she launched “Sandy’s Smiles for Hope.”
“During COVID-19, I felt like spreading joy was a great way to combat the sadness people are feeling, and at the same time do something that would benefit the local community,” she explains.
One hundred per cent of the proceeds from every mask sold are going to Seeds of Hope, a volunteer program helping people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.
“We love Sandy’s masks. Having a smile on a face on a mask for people just adds some joy,” Kimberly Curry, executive director of Seeds of Hope, says. “Sandy just decided, ‘what can I do to help the situation and what’s going on.’ And she said, ‘this is my way I can help.’”
“We do have a very vulnerable community in Toronto and every year there are people experiencing homelessness and are impoverished,” Gordon says. “Seeds of Hope just provides so many wonderful services to those in need with housing, with food, with other essential emergency kits and I wanted to support them.”
In two weeks, Gordon has already sold about 60 masks.
“I was hoping if I could make 100 masks, that would be wonderful. I think I’m going to surpass that,” she says.
Gordon adds that she’s enjoying painting the masks so much that she will continue doing so as long as there is interest.
“For me to make someone smile from something as simple as me having fun, using my artistic talent of painting a smile on a mask, is just absolutely fantastic,” she says.
“The more masks I sell, the more people I’m helping. And as long as people need masks, people need smiles.”