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Out-of-work mom, daughter getting creative to aid OSMH

Rachel Castellano has designed T-shirts to raise money for front-line workers; 'I thought I need to try and do something to help and it just kind of came to me'
quarantine fundraiser shirts
Rachel Castellano and her five-year-old daughter Ruby are selling t-shirts to raise funds for the local health-care professionals at Soldiers' Memorial Hospital. Contributed photo

Rachel Castellano and her five-year-old daughter are staying home and physical distancing - and much more.

The mother-daughter duo is working hard with local home printing business, Hawkins Homestead, to produce and sell T-shirts to raise funds to support the local health-care professionals at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, working to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

Castellano had her hours reduced at her full-time job with Park Lane Landscapes in Beaverton. With schools closed, the single mother and her daughter Ruby were looking for a way to spend their newly acquired spare time.

“Having nothing to do can weigh on you mentally, so I needed something to fill up my time or I would go crazy,” Castellano said.

The idea for the red T-shirts - which represent first aid and health care with the saying ‘Quarantine, Chill, Repeat’ and the hashtag #flattenthecurve printed across the front - came to Castellano in the middle of the night.

“Because of the ongoing stresses of today's world I was up late one night and couldn’t sleep,” Castellano explained. “I thought 'I need to try and do something to help' and it just kind of came to me.”

Castellano came up with the T-shirt design, connected with Hawkins Homestead and had the fundraiser launched just a few days later.

Castellano’s plan is to hand-deliver the shirts, with her daughter, dropping them off to the front porch of local supporters. Others will have to be mailed to supporters who aren’t from the local area.

While making deliveries, handling the shirts and during production, supporters can be sure that Castellano, her daughter, and Hawkins Homestead are making sure they are following health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.

“We are wearing gloves and bandanas for masks. There will be no physical contact on the purchases," she told OrilliaMatters. 

"The company has sterilized their entire shop, as well as practising the same kind of safety precautions.”

If you would like to help the duo's mission to help our local health-care professionals on the front lines facing COVID-19, you can connect with Castellano to purchase a T-shirt through her email:

“My goal is to get to $500, it would be even better to get to $1,000, that’s what we are aiming for,” Castellano said, noting chilren's Ts cost $20 while adult T's cost $25. Cost includes taxes and shipping.

Currently the Castellanos have raised around $200 in the early stages of their campaign.