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Maine teen sells coronavirus masks to help fund a female veteran housing unit

The transitional housing unit for a homeless female veteran in need is 17-year-old Kasey Jordan's Gold Award Girl Scout project.

LAMOINE, Maine — Kasey Jordan has been busy sewing masks since March when the coronavirus pandemic started. The 17-year-old is a junior at Mount Desert Island High School, and when she is not focused on schoolwork, Kasey is sewing masks with her mother and troop leader, Lori Jordan. Lori taught Kasey how to make a face mask from scratch. With her help, they have made almost 6,000 masks.

"We've sent a lot of masks to different places in the state of Maine and also out of the state of Maine," Kasey Jordan said.

All of Kesey's masks have been donated to places including Northern Light Acadia Hospital, Mount Desert Island Hospital, and Martin's Point Healthcare.

"We got down to a pretty good system," she said.

The teenager is now selling the face masks she makes to raise money for her Girl Scout Gold Award project. 

"I've earned both my bronze and silver and now I'm working on my Gold Award," Kasey said.

"I will be building a small 24-by-24 house for a homeless female veteran," she said.

"Veterans are very big because her family is also all veterans," Lori Jordan said.

Elizabeth Helton is the teen and program specialist at Girl Scouts of Maine.
Helton says Kasey's project will help address the issue of homelessness in female veterans who have been affected by some type of trauma but also offer them skills and opportunities to get them back on their feet and back out into the communities," Helton said.

Masks are $3 each and Kasey will keep making and selling them to fund her transitional home project. Girl Scout of Maine has allowed Kasey to sell the masks. 

"We also realized that homeless veterans were like on the rise, homeless female veterans, so we thought it would be a good idea to put it as a Gold Award project," Kasey said. "That's because more females are being allowed into the military. They are coming back and they have no place to go."

"It's going to be a transitional home, so that way when they go in, they can go out and then get their own home eventually," she said.

"We've educated people enough about what's going on, and it's time to do something. And that's the stance Kasey took. It's time to do something to help a veteran," Lori Jordan said. "A lot of them suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder and also suffer from MST (military sexual trauma) and going to a homeless shelter is a little difficult for them, especially if they have children."

Besides making masks, Kasey is hard at work with her mother making homemade pies. All of the proceeds will go straight to help Kasey's mission.

Additionally, Kasey also had a bottle drive going on. You can drop off any bottle at her front door at 474 Douglas Highway in Lamoine. Kasey says she can also stop by your house and pick up any bottles you would like to donate to her.

"Then I go to the redemption center and that money gets cycled back into my project, so it's a two win-win situation," Kasey said.

Kasey hopes her dream of a small housing unit can turn into a small housing community that supports female homeless veterans. 

"When a non-profit takes over it, we are hoping that they will continue to add more houses to the piece of property so it becomes a community," Kasey said.

Kasey says she doesn't know yet where this housing unit will be built. She is looking at options in the Lamoine/Ellsworth area.

If you would like to support Kasey's effort you can follow her Facebook page called Tiny Steps Maine. On her Facebook page, you can direct message Kasey to purchase a mask and help her fundraise to create a small transitional housing unit for a female veteran. 

You can also email Kasey at tinystepsmaine@gmail.com.

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