Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has begun to recommend that people wear face masks when in public. Of course, they prefer that if you can stay home that you do that, but if you must be out, to cover your face.

As you probably know, face masks are few and far between. But luckily, it’s not hard at all to make one for yourself. Here’s a tutorial for making a DIY disposable mask in just one minute flat, plus ways to upgrade your mask so it doesn’t hurt your ears (a not-so-fun perk of these things).

Even so, you still might not have time to make your own mask or have the materials to do so (or a way to get them). That’s where help comes in.

One woman named Deb Siggins decided that she wanted to do something for people who weren’t able to get or make their own masks. She went to work to sew hundreds of them for friends, family, and neighbors, and even extended it to her entire local community in Iowa.

But how could people safely get the masks? Siggins hung them on a tree near her home so that people could come to grab them as needed.

It’s like Christmas! There truly is something about implementing even just a little bit of holiday cheer at a challenging time like this. People have even started to put Christmas lights up on their houses as a sign of hope.

The mask tree idea began after a local hospital in her state sent out a request for homemade masks for healthcare workers.

Deb Siggins

“My goal was to do 100 for the hospital, but then my friends and family wanted some and it just snowballed,” Siggins said.

Siggins, who loves to craft, sew and help people out, considered that her own personal call of duty and went to work. “I’m a giver not a taker, so I’m always happy to help,” she said.

People in and out of her community who needed masks continued to turn to her. She got so many requests for her masks that she can barely keep up with demand.

“It went crazy, I’m getting so many requests from everywhere to the point where I can’t keep up,” she said.

Even so, she has no plans to stop making masks anytime soon. And while her mask tree may end up bare each and every day, she fills it up as much as she can.

Additionally, she continues to make masks for essential workers in needed: firefighters, paramedics, those who work at the supermarket and elderly patients who are most at risk for virus complications.

What a lovely act of kindness! What do you think of Siggins’ mask tree idea? Have you been able to make your own mask to protect yourself when you leave the house?