Out-of-work costumer turns dresses into masks during coronavirus pandemic


CHICAGO — When everyone else was scouring the internet for face masks, Martha Shuford was digging through her closet of theater costumes. A costumer for decades in Chicago, she found herself out of work when the pandemic shut down theater companies across the city.

That’s when she got an idea.

“I had some fabric left over from a series of dresses I’ve made for Hairspray, so that’s been fun and it spread through the theatre community,” said Shuford.

She isn’t charging a cent for her masks, just asking people to make a small donation to local theater companies like Big Noise Theatre.

The inspirational stories from the Chicagoland area didn’t stop there.

Brannon Moran was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 8. After risky surgery and 31 rounds of radiation and chemo that lasted more than a year, Brannon had to learn to walk, talk and swallow all over again.

This Sunday marks almost five years since he finished chemo and was declared cancer free.

His family is holding a big parade outside their Glenview home to celebrate Brannon overcoming every odd.

“We’re grateful that five years later we can say that he beat it and to have all those people with us again to celebrate with us, because it’s not just our celebration as a family, but i feel like it’s everybody in the community that helped us through,” said Kristin Moran.

And finally, meet Josh Kaplan of Josh’s Hot Dogs in Northbrook and Deerfield.

For the last month he has been racking up the miles, making non-stop deliveries to hospital workers, fire departments, police officers and community care centers.

It all started when his customers started putting in orders through “Give in Kind,” a website where individuals can order food from select vendors to be delivered to front line workers.

The response was so overwhelming, the deliveries have become a full-time job.

“It’s hilarious. When I pull up with food and let them know I’m here, they’re like, ‘Yes! Hot dogs, burgers and fries!’ It’s awesome,” said Kaplan.


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