For all the things this pandemic has taken from us, it is not without its gifts. It’s important to press pause on the day-in, day-out of parenting, work, and “adulting” to reflect on just how much we’ve accomplished this year simply by getting through the days.
I hope you’ll allow me to share my own story of thankfulness.
I began as a Happy Masks customer. Actually, I was a wannabe customer.
After more than a year of pandemic, homeschool, a difficult pregnancy, a life-threatening illness, a divorce, and a long-distance move, I just wanted to see my daughter go to kindergarten, but the idea of sending her back into the world terrified me.
I tried to cope with my anxiety as most of us do: “Hey Google, what are the best kids masks for school?” “Hey Google, how many layers should a mask have?” “Hey Google, how do I learn to adjust to this phase of motherhood I never pictured in my wildest dreams?”
I found an article about the protection and wearability of Happy Masks. Suddenly I could envision my daughter going to school, spending her days playing and learning and surrounded by other kids and teachers who-- well-- weren’t me.
I got on the waitlist and followed Happy Masks’ Instagram, ready to jump at my first chance to get a mask. As I waited, I was moved by the stories of customers reaching out to give up their coveted spot on the waitlist and donate masks to those in need, and I was struck by the fact that this company, borne of a mother’s desire to protect her children in a global pandemic, was not only inspiring these kindnesses in their customers, but sharing and celebrating these stories of humanity and generosity.
Knowing how busy they were, I took a chance and reached out to offer my customer service experience. Before I knew it, I had a job. I will forever be indebted to Melinda Hwang, who took a chance on this eager single mom and welcomed her into this close-knit, supportive team of people whose work stems from a sense of empathy, compassion and the desire to make a difference.
Our team has grown since then, each addition bringing their own skills, their own story of why this company matters to them, and their deep passion for helping people. Most of us are parents, most of us were customers before we were employees, and all of us are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an effort to help protect families, offer peace of mind to worried parents just like us, and try to help people return to some semblance of normalcy.
This Thanksgiving, we want you to know that we are thankful for you, the trust you place in us, and your ongoing support. We know we would not be where we are without you. From our whole team, we wish you a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving, and a few moments of quiet reflection. There is much to be thankful for.