Masks have become a hot commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic with major retailers and small businesses alike selling both standard and custom designed face coverings.
While some have responded to the pandemic with entrepreneurial enthusiasm, Turlock resident Patricia Pearson has opted to instead respond with altruism, volunteering her time to make more than 100 face coverings for the community free of charge since early April.
Volunteer Mask Maker: Patricia PearsonWhile major retailers and small businesses have responded to the pandemic with entrepreneurial enthusiasm, Turlock resident Patricia Pearson has opted to instead respond with altruism, volunteering her time to make more than 100 masks for the community free of charge since early April.
“I had posted on Facebook that I made masks for my family and someone had asked me if I could make them for her family, and I did and it was really exciting,” Pearson said. “But the biggest turning point was when I put one on the mail box for mailman Juan. When I saw that he had taken it I was absolutely giddy like Christmas and I have not stopped making them since. Then I decided to put the tree out because maybe the neighbors needed a mask.”
With a tomato cage acting as a mask tree staked in her front lawn on North Thor Street, Pearson has turned a long-time interest in crafting into a one-woman mask making operation, complete with an assembly line method that sees her make five to six pillowcase masks per day.
“I get really bored sitting at home; I’m not a TV kind of person,” Pearson said. “I’ve made slippers, reusable shopping bags, plushies…if I see it on YouTube, I’m destined to try it.”
After posting to the Turlock Neighborhood Watch Facebook page to make sure her masks were being used and not resold, the community’s response to and demand for her masks increased. Before she knew it, her altruism was being matched by the strangers she set out to help.
“Everybody just really poured their hearts out into how grateful they were and encouraged me to keep doing it. Then they started leaving donations on my porch, so I was able to order more fabric and keep going up until now,” Pearson said. “We’re all humans and we’re all in this together. It honestly made me cry the first time somebody left a donation on the porch and a little note with some fabric.
“It just warms my heart to know that there’s other people like me in Turlock and I made the right decision moving my family here.”