When the pandemic hit, Roslyn’s Ryan Buslik and her family began donating nonperishables and making weekly food deliveries for Sid Jacobson JCC’s Community Needs Bank. When the summer started, Buslik wanted to take her beading creativity and use it as a way to raise funds for the JCC. With the pandemic essential masks in mind, inspiration struck and the 7-year-old began making mask chains. Over the last seven months, Buslik has sold approximately 700 mask chains, raising $7,500 for SJJCC’s Community Needs Bank.
“We knew masks were here to stay and mask chains are super functional,” Nicole Buslik, Ryan’s mother, said. “The chains allow you to hook your mask around your neck so that it’s always accessible. No more worrying about dropping it, losing it or forgetting it before you walk out the door.”
At first, Buslik was selling mask chains by word of mouth. As the product’s popularity grew, she created an Instagram account to post pictures of the chains, explain her mission behind creating them and expand their reach beyond her local neighborhood. Before they knew it, the hottest accessory of the summer took off and her mother Nicole recruited two of her own friends, Tracy Levy and Amanda Feinsod, to help fill the long list of back-to-school orders.
In a matter of seven months, Buslik and her growing team of support handmade approximately 700 mask chains and donated 100 percent of the $7,5000 proceeds to SJJCC’s Community Needs Bank. Her mission isn’t over yet, Buslik continues to sell a variety of custom, holiday-themed and personalized mask chains so she can continue to raise funds for a critical resource in the pandemic.
“Ryan has been an unstoppable Bank Buddy since the beginning of the pandemic when she began joining her mom for safe curbside deliveries and creating cards to personalize each package,” Susan Berman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement, Sid Jacobson JCC, said. “The love and detail put into each of Ryan’s mask chains is a reflection of how much she cares about others.”
Sid Jacobson JCC’s Community Needs Bank, a partner of Island Harvest Food Bank, serves the needs of the food insecure in Nassau. The Bank serves as a collection site and distribution center of nonperishable shelf-stable food, personal care and household items for small local food pantries in Nassau. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bank re-envisioned its model of service to directly serve the individuals and families faced with food insecurity across Long Island and Queens. To date, the Bank has donated thousands of pounds of food, household items and personal protective equipment to the most vulnerable right in our backyard.
To learn more about Sid Jacobson JCC’s Community Needs Bank and how you can donate, visit www.sjjcc.org/communityneedsbank or contact Susan Berman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-484-1545 ext. 202.
All mask chains are $20 a piece and can be picked up in Roslyn without charge or can be sent via first-class mail for $5. To learn more about Beads 4 Needs, to see their selection of custom and holiday mask chains, or to place an order, follow their Instagram account beads.4needs or email email@example.com.
—Submitted by the Sid Jacobson JCC