Employee Spotlight: Lyn Derway

Sep 23, 2020

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Emmie Madison
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New York’s Finest Seamstress: Lyn Derway

At Public Trust, we are fortunate to have such a hardworking and dedicated staff, both in the office and in their communities. Each quarter, we highlight one of our employees who is making a difference in their community through their charitable work. We are honored to highlight Lyn Derway, Regional Director of Marketing based in New York, for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 
 
In early spring of this year, New York had the first known case of COVID-19 in the United States and the number of confirmed cases was steadily rising. New York Governor Anthony Cuomo declared a state of emergency, quickly closing schools and issuing stay-at-home orders. Shortages of protective gear, medical equipment, and face masks presented new challenges to those in the medical field and beyond.
Lyn was approached by a friend who worked at a local hospital to see if she would be willing and able to make masks for non-medical hospital employees. Having been a quilter for more than thirty years, Lyn happily accepted; she quickly researched mask patterns, evaluated her supply of fabric and elastic, and immediately began sewing. By the end of the day, she had already completed several masks.
 
When Lyn ran out of elastic, she had to get creative – her friend helped her search local dollar stores for elastic headbands that Lyn would then cut in half and repurpose for the masks. But the entire nation was facing mask shortages and elastic was hard to come by. When a bulk order of elastic finally arrived, Lyn was back in business and able to make an additional 60 masks for hospital employees.
 
During this same time, the Department of Public Safety in Lyn’s county had asked if anyone could sew and donate masks. Again, Lyn immediately rose to the occasion, making more than 80 masks that went to the department’s staff as well as community members in need as a part of their “Mask Up” program with neighboring counties. At the time of this article, Lyn has made and donated nearly 300 masks to people across the nation including local police departments, school districts, family members, friends, and coworkers.  

From Quilts to Masks: A Love for Helping Others

This isn’t the first time Lyn has used her sewing skills to benefit others. In 2001, Lyn made quilted wall hangings following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center to raise funds for the families of the New York City Fire Department through the Engine 22, Ladder 13, Family Fund. At the time, her brother-in-law was a firefighter in New York City who had been off duty on the day of the attack. Seeing him deal with the death of his best friend and colleagues, Lyn was compelled to help the many families impacted. A member of the Plattsburg Rotary Club, Lyn made 14 quilted wall hangings that were auctioned off at a meeting, raising more than $2,100.
Outside of quilting and sewing, Lyn has been a blood donor ambassador for the American Red Cross for the past couple of years. In this role, Lyn greets donors and helps them feel comfortable while allowing the staff to focus on blood draws. The American Red Cross is always in need of all types of blood and has implemented protocols to make it a safe experience for donors, staff, and volunteers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In honor of Lyn’s volunteer efforts, Public Trust has donated $2,500 to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is an incredible organization offering all types of volunteer opportunities. Recently, Lyn’s local chapter sent volunteers to Texas, Louisiana, and California to support our fellow Americans impacted by natural disasters. For more information on the American Red Cross, please click here.
The information presented is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation of investment advisory services.

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