Finding Hope in Adversity
By Chelsea Chambers
“The day came that my precocious five-year-old held my feet to the fire to assure her that with all the changes happening, things were going to be ok. Within that same moment, I wasn’t even sure if I said it, that I would believe it. That same day I came across a passage from Thomas Carlyle: ‘He who has health has hope, he who has hope, has everything.’ At the end of the day, without our health, what do we have? And what else matters when we don’t? Thus, began my search for the hope I was afraid I was losing.”
Molli Anderson is an Idaho native, artist, and mother. Her story resonates with so many of us: the search for hope, normalcy, and security in a time where almost none of that is readily available. But rather than stand idly by, Anderson got to work, despite the time-consuming duty of raising young children, one just six months old. Anderson was taught how to sew by Susan Umhauer, owner of Slips in Boise, and decided to put her skills to good use and provide something absolutely essential to her community and beyond.
Channeling her natural creative side, Anderson began making masks—a lot of masks—more than 700 since the pandemic began.
“Ever since I began my hopeful attempt, I have been able to provide to small clinics, assisted living facilities near and far, as well as individuals spanning from here to as far as Florida,” Anderson explained.
“I have refused to profit from this endeavor and will never charge no matter the request, and with the outpouring of support and donations, I have been able to ‘keep that train rolling.’ I do, however, feel a ‘repayment’ in hope. The hope that I was afraid I felt slipping away. My overall mission is to limit any excuse or hurdle one may have to not have a mask to wear. Wear it for you and yours, me and mine and the future for the good things to come. Now that the levies have broken, we are all in the same boat, and never have I been so proud to be in this ‘pay it forward’ current.”
Molli would like to extend a huge thank you to her husband, Steve Rausch, for helping support her mask-making mission and so much more. “I couldn’t accomplish any of this without the support of my better half. My husband has taken on “Daddy duty” after and between running his law practice from our basement.”
As we all find new ways to adapt to the strangeness of 2020, remember that there are always superheroes dedicated to helping make the world a better place—one mask at a time. Thank you Molli!
To see more of Molli’s work, visit her website at handmadebymolli.com.