Community, Features, Lead Stories

White Plains refugee-led company makes face masks

Westchester-based Amina’s Alterations is answering the call to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rule requiring all New Yorkers to wear a face mask or covering while in
public spaces. The business produces a variety of protective face masks for sale to the public. The masks Amina’s Alterations makes follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines and can be worn by restaurant workers, healthcare workers and individuals out for a walk or returning to work.

When COVID-19 struck, the business’s usual alterations work slowed down.  Business-owner Amina Ahmad participated in a communitywide effort under the auspices of a local grassroots humanitarian organization, Neighbors for Refugees. The small group of refugees, mostly women, made more than 3,000 masks in just six weeks. Their work was funded by donations and grants. The masks were distributed to medical facilities all over the tri-state area.

Neighbors for Refugees then helped pivot Ahmad’s alteration business to making protective masks for the public.  Ahmad, a Kurdish refugee
White Plains refugee-led business makes masks who hails from Syria, has employed several Westchester-based seamstresses who are refugees, asylum seekers or have SIV status.   Some of the women have been in the U.S. a few years; others are new arrivals. They are all trained sewists and have started accepting and filling orders.

People can directly order masks from Ahmad at   Shipping is included.  Neighbors for Refugees is a 501(c)(3) is a non-political,
grassroots humanitarian group located in Westchester, organized to welcome refugees and other new Americans. As volunteers, Neighbors for Refugees comes
alongside our new neighbors to empower them throughout their first year of transition as they reach self-sufficiency. Services include Refugee Resettlement, a
Year 2 Fund, a Business Incubator Program, and advocacy and education.