What does community look like?
In one Falmouth home, it’s a combat veteran and his two daughters spending the past week creating hand-made masks for healthcare professionals throughout Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts.
“We are doing this because why not?” Army veteran Ralph Petty said. “It’s something that we always try to do — pay things forward and thank the ones who keep us safe.”
The project started last Tuesday when Ralph’s 13-year-old daughter Molly asked how her family could help the helpers. They decided to make masks for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Molly and her seven-year-old sister Charlotte have been responsible for picking out the fabric.
The masks consist of three layers; the middle is a medical-grade breathable fabric with proper filtration. By yesterday, they had nearly reached their initial goal of making 150 masks.
They dropped off 60 to the medical staff at Falmouth Pediatrics; 45 to ER staff at Falmouth Hospital; 20 to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth; and 15 to the staff at Bramblebush Pediatrics in Falmouth.
Petty, who moved to the Cape nearly four years ago, understands what it means to receive the type of support he and his children are giving to nurses and doctors in our region right now. He has participated in a number of our programs, including our Families In Transition (FIT) Week, fishing excursions, and military family outings to Boston Red Sox and Providence Bruins games.
Petty, who served in the 82nd Airborne and Army Rangers and has been deployed to Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Honduras, and Panama, expressed gratitude for all Heroes has done for him. “Cyndy and Nicole, plus countless others, have helped me and my family in so many ways,” he said. “They are like family to me and my girls.”
Over the years, Petty has given back to Heroes by volunteering for the Ruck4HIT and raising funds to support the programs that have benefited him and his children.
Giving back is something that is important to Petty and a lesson he is passing on to his daughters. “I like to teach them and try to set an example to help others in need when you can,” he said. “I teach them the importance of paying things forward, as often as we can, no matter our situation in life and to cherish and love each other always, unconditionally. I want them to understand that helping others is a privilege, especially to those who have protected us and continue to protect us to this day.”