Supervisory TSA Officer Samantha Mudge remembers what it was like last year, working during the partial federal government shutdown for several weeks without a paycheck.
“So many people helped us during the government furlough,” Mudge recalled. “So I felt that I needed to do something to support others” during the pandemic in return for the community’s kind gestures when she and her TSA colleagues received the support of strangers.
A 13-year TSA veteran who works the early 3:15 a.m. shift at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airp
ort, Mudge decided to crochet masks for Maryland’s Calvert County Sheriff’s Department. She crocheted 25 masks in black with a blue line across them – symbolic of the phrase “thin blue line,” which is emblematic of law enforcement – and dropped them off at the sheriff’s office along with a box of submarine sandwiches and a couple pounds of shrimp.
Still, Mudge felt an internal desire to do more.
When her stimulus check arrived in the mail, she made a conscious decision to use that money in ways to back individuals who have to work during the pandemic.
“When I received my check, I looked at it and knew I could do more to support others during the pandemic,” she said. She bought fabric to sew masks, yarn to crochet masks and food to donate.
She sewed 50 masks and donated them to the CalvertHealth Medical Center, delivered 30 masks to her local Walmart pharmacy because her pharmacist and pharmacy workers had no masks, and she handed a bag of her masks to health care workers who were standing outside waiting for food at a barbeque restaurant.
She knows that during the pandemic, her unexpected generosity is appreciated, much like she and her TSA colleagues were grateful for the support of the public during the partial government shutdown.
“I guess you could say they were all random acts of kindness,” Mudge said. “It’s just spreading some kindness during these unusual times.”