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Masks Made With Love


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Jane O’Neil is known around town for making things. She made the suit that Lakeside Deli’s bowing Santa has been wearing for almost 60 years. She makes the seasonal ice cream cakes for The Towne Scoop.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Neil decided to make face masks, and to make them available to her customers. The donations they have made for the masks has enabled O’Neil to make nearly $1,500 in donations to the Verona Rescue Squad, the food pantry at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, and the Verona Children’s Fund.

O’Neil likes to write poems about many aspects of her life, and she has written one about her mask-making, which we are happy to share:

I began sewing masks for family and friends,
From my stash of fabric odds and ends,
Then other people started to ask,
“Could you please make me a mask?
If you do, I would gladly pay,
Name the price, whatever you say”,
So I decided that’s what I would do,
And I could “make a difference” too,
By donating the money from my labors,
To a local cause that helps our neighbors,
Some people bought my mask creations,
And also made more generous donations,
In addition this project is helping me,
To preserve my isolated sanity,
And It makes me happy just to know,
The Squad will get some much needed dough.

That was in May, and now it is June,
And I’m playing a slightly different tune,
I’m still making masks and the price is the same,
But I’ve got yet another cause to name,
The food pantry needs all the help it can get,
To assist some people who aren’t working yet,
So for June the total of mask proceeds,
Will be donated there to help fill their needs.

In July and August sales waned, but were steady,
Just after months’ end a donation was ready,
Another five hundred, I was happily stunned,
To be giving this amount to The Children’s Fund.

Now it’s September , and mask sales are slowing,
But I will keep at it, I’ll keep on sewing,
Since I still have more fabric and yards of elastic,
Being able to do this, that feeling is fantastic,
The donations may now be in smaller amounts,
For a cause that needs help every dollar counts.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. This is fantastic! The dedicated time and work, the generous donations and your creative timeframe poem.

    Jane, sounds like you have a heart of gold,
    May your beautiful masks continue to be sold,
    Charitable donations, no matter big and small,
    Greatly helps your community overall,
    So thank you for your caring heart,
    You’ve made a difference from the very start.


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