Students Sew Masks to Help Others
Christina Yasutomi

Sophomores Lauren Toda, front, and Noelle Nagaishi, back, are sewing masks to help HBA students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Two high school students are using their new found hobby to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the summer, sophomores Lauren Toda and Noelle Nagaishi took up sewing to pass the time while they isolated at home. As they progressed in their skills, they began sewing face masks in response to the global health crisis. Now, they’re using these masks to help their classmates who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.  

“We love our school and didn’t want to see any of our classmates leave due to financial hardships because of COVID. After learning about the Eagles Kokua Fund, we decided that the net proceeds from the sale of the masks would be given to this fund, which provides additional financial tuition assistance to those who are most impacted by the pandemic,” said Toda.

The entire endeavour is truly a team effort. Nagaishi was inspired after she received a pattern from her aunt and fabric from her grandmother. To ensure the best fit, Toda found rubber adjusters that allow for easier sizing. The masks may be purchased online at the girls' store on Etsy. Email with your questions.  

“The value of a HBA education is emerging before our eyes in these challenging times, as servant hearts like that of Lauren and Noelle have found a way to help their classmates as they help our greater community,” shares Billie Takaki Lueder '94, director of institutional advancement. “They truly exemplify service above self.”

The girls are also accepting donations of fabric and other materials to make more masks. If you’d like to donate, contact HBA’s Advancement Office at to schedule a drop off at HBA’s administrative office at 420 Wyllie Street. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monetary donations for the Eagles Kokua Fund are also being accepted at When you donate, select Eagles Kokua Fund, and in the comment box note that your donation is in response to girls’ face mask project.