by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Kim Link is no stranger to hard work – she is a retired Winchester farmer, mother and grandmother, with a charitable spirit. For over a year, she has been making masks to sell at the Double Beauty salon in Winchester, and donating all the proceeds to local food banks, including the Salvation Army, House of Lazarus in South Mountain, and the Community Food Share in Winchester. Donations were also made to Big Sky Ranch in North Grenville. Kim has raised about $3,000 so far, having sold about 550 of her homemade masks.
The Times reached out to Kim for insights on what inspired such a selfless act of giving. She explained that when the pandemic started, the local Lactalis plant could not acquire masks fast enough to supply all of their employees. This was concerning, because if an outbreak were to have occurred at the plant, causing the plant to shutdown, many local dairy farmers would have had no place to bring their milk.
Sending in several hundred masks for the Lactalis workers is, therefore, how the initiative started. In total, Kim has made about 1,500 masks to date. Some people want custom ordered masks, and Kim is happy to make those as well. She keeps the process local by incorporating businesses, such as Samantha’s Emporium, to provide a quick turnaround time. She also has plenty of materials on hand, as she is involved in other hobbies and charitable projects as well.
Those wishing to support the initiative by purchasing a mask can do so at the Double Beauty salon. Basic masks cost $5, while other masks, such as custom ordered masks, cost more. All of the proceeds go straight to the local food banks and other charities, and Kim is happy to donate the materials and the time. “Yes it’s time consuming, but we needed something to do!” she joked. The Double Beauty salon is located on Main St E in Winchester.