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UNF library member named an Osprey Hero for creating nearly 1,600 masks for the community

Stephanie Race, head of research and outreach at theOsprey Hero Stephanie Race standing against a gray background smiling UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library, is featured and profiled as an Osprey Hero for providing a helping hand to the Jacksonville community during the COVID-19 pandemic by sewing face masks.

With the help from her sisters, Race has made and distributed nearly 1,600 masks to healthcare workers, a prison hospital, an assisted living facility, friends and UNF colleagues, including 200 masks created for library staff.

“From a young age, my parents instilled in my sisters and me the value of helping others,” Race said. “When things started to shut down and people wanted to take precautions, I saw several patterns for making masks. I knew my sisters and I had the resources, and this was a need we could help fill.”

As the fall semester begins, Race stays motivated by the conversations and interactions she has with students and faculty in the Osprey community, along with others in the Jacksonville community.

“The outpouring of support from our community – from people who leave $20 when they take a single mask to the days someone hands me a bag of fabric – motivates us to keep sewing,” Race said. “The donations we receive cover the costs of supplies, so that we can continue to help others. When someone asks for a mask to make them feel safer while working, it's the least we can do to help.”