Before coronavirus, Robert Wood Johnson medical student Shari Bodofsky spent her days in classes, working in a radiation oncology unit with breast cancer patients, and running a handmade toy company online in her spare time. Within a matter of weeks, that all changed. Now Bodofsky, a Cherry Hill native, is sheltering at home, taking classes online, and is using her sewing machine to make masks instead of toys. Her initiative, “Shari’s Butterfly Effect,” donates handmade masks to food pantries, food banks, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilties, and other places where “people are in close contact and should be wearing masks but are really struggling to get them,” Bodofsky said.
The decision to start making and donating masks was an easy one for Bodofsky. “When COVID-19 hit, I thought, I have a sewing machine, I have fabric, I know how to do this,” she said. “The opportunity presented itself to do a good thing. It’s an interesting transition from having a little toy business online to my whole apartment [filled with] stacks of fabric and scissors and irons and cutting boards.”
As a medical student, Bodofsky understood firsthand the need for safe health practices, and was inspired to