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Thirteen-year-old Hannah Reyes is providing hope and help to communities throughout Denver through her business, HER Designs. Sewing a total of 600 face masks in the last two months, Hannah has donated more than a third of them to local nonprofits.
In the basement “shop” she’s created in her family’s Greenwood Village home, Hannah typically sews fabric rosettes that she sells as hair clips or as adornments to mini-personal alarms. She’s been in business for the last five years, balancing entrepreneurship with her school work at St. Mary’s Academy and dance with the Colorado Ballet.
Seeing a need in her community, Hannah added masks to her product line. “I realized that I have the resources, materials and skills to make masks,” says Hannah. “I want to be able to look back years from now and say that I have used this time wisely, and I did my small part to help.”
She may have started small, but this eighth grader has made a large impact. Hannah started responding to the pandemic by giving masks to restaurants, to delivery personnel, and to people she saw at bus stops without masks.
Then, Hannah added this product to her website and sold through Young Americans Center for Financial Education’s online Marketplace, where she donated a mask for every mask purchased.
As her inventory grew, Hannah distributed masks to post office workers, women’s homeless shelters, Indian reservations, and the Boy Scouts of America. She is currently working on a set to deliver to Children’s Hospital Colorado.
We have all experienced dramatic change in our lives over the last few months, and Hannah’s kindness and hard work provides an inspiring solution to the upheaval. Her advice to youth and adults alike is to focus on small actions that impact those around you. “Use your time for random acts of kindness without any expectations of return,” she says. “I am inspired by a quote from H. Jackson Brown Jr.: ‘Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.’”