PORTLAND — At a time in which many are in need of smiles and spirit, parishioners at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland have come up with a way to brighten the world while promoting safety during the pandemic.

“Our garden group that meets weekly at St. Pius X Church in Portland thought of this idea,” said Karen Welch.

Welch, along with Barbara Willey, have organized a Christmas face mask campaign to help community members in need of joy.

“The masks are a cotton blend and shaped somewhat like a N95 mask,” said Welch. “They sit nicely on your nose and fit nicely under the chin, too.”

Various designs such as Christmas trees, holly, snowmen, and others display on the masks, which are available in adult and children sizes.

“Currently, over 200 have been made and 100 of those have been sold,” said Welch. “We have several lovely parishioners who are creating the masks.”

Each mask costs $5, with all proceeds benefitting Our Lady of Hope Parish (St. Pius X Church, St. Joseph Church, St. Brigid School, all in Portland). The parish, like many across the country, are currently facing an operating deficit due to the pandemic and the cancellation of all group event fundraisers through at least the end of the year.

“We just wanted to help the parish and put smiles on many faces this Christmas!” said Welch.

The last day to order is Nov. 10. Those interested in purchasing a mask can call Karen Welch at 207-767-4504 or Barbara Willey at 207-775-3343.

“We’re so excited to know we will have added joy to so many, and it’s a great feeling for parishioners to know they’ve contributed to their parish, too,” said Welch.