For tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic region, making a difference starts on the tennis courts where players find themselves building character and a strong sense of community through the sport. But often among our tennis community, there are many players making a difference that reaches far beyond.
During this unusual time and new normal of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is seeing how our tennis community is going above and beyond for others. We are excited to hear about the many ways our tennis family is stepping off the court and impacting our larger communities in the region during this time and want to share these uplifting stories.
One such player giving back is Trinh Banks.
Trinh is an Annandale, Va., mother of four and USTA Mid-Atlantic member. As a 4.0/4.5 player, Trinh enjoys playing in USTA Leagues because of the community it provides her. League play is her opportunity to not only compete but to hang out with friends. That friendship and camaraderie helped elevate her and her teammates’ games, taking them all the way to USTA 4.5 League Nationals two times.
However, with league play on hold and social distancing in place, Trinh decided to focus her energy on giving back to the Mid-Atlantic community – and even beyond – by sewing cloth masks and donating them.
Trinh started making masks by taking personal requests. With materials that she had on hand, she began sewing the masks and sending them to her friends and family who work in the healthcare industry. Then, using Facebook, she started donating them wherever there was a need, including sending her masks to Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City – a coronavirus hot spot.
When Mary Washington Hospital launched the 5,000-mask challenge, Trinh did not hesitate to participate. Her tennis friends jumped in as well by donating some of the materials for the masks. Trinh, with the support of her tennis friends, has contributed to the 1,600 masks that Mary Washington has received so far.
Trinh has made more than 100 masks. Now, she has added sewing surgeons caps as well. She recently shipped 30 caps to a nurse from Orlando, Fl., who is currently serving on the frontlines in New Orleans, La.
“I saw a need about the PPE. I have a skill and I wanted to help in any way that I can,” said Banks.
For Trinh, sewing is a family affair and she learned the skill from her parents. Her mom was a seamstress and her dad was a tailor. Trinh continues the family tradition by using this time to teach her four children, whose ages range between 8 and 12, how to sew. They’ve had an active role in helping her make the masks and are contributing in the act of kindness. In addition to having extra little hands to help, Trinh says she also uses this time to teach her kids skills that include math, planning, and preparation through sewing.
When asked for her advice on getting involved and giving back during the pandemic, particularly if you lack sewing skills, she says, “There are different ways to contribute. One way is to donate materials such as pipe cleaners, cloth, and elastics. Another way is to pre-cut the materials and send them to someone sewing masks. Any little bit helps.”
USTA Mid-Atlantic is proud of the impact that our members are having on our community. Let us know how you or your tennis friends are going above and beyond for others and making a difference during the coronavirus pandemic by dropping us a message on social media.
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