Woman gives away custom-made masks to curb spread of COVID-19

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - We’re about four months into the coronavirus pandemic and things are changing every day. However, the message from the Center Disease Control remains the same: Wear a mask to reduce the risk of catching or transmitting COVID-19.

An employee at VCU Medical Center is doing her part to make sure as many people as possible, can do just that.

Jessi Wilson works in purchasing, but also has a crafting business on the side. Give her some fabric and she could pretty much make anything, whether it’s a bib with your favorite sports team, a cute little crayon wallet, or in times like these - a facemask.

“If you’re going to have to wear the mask, make it look cool,” says Wilson.

When the country was encouraged to wear masks, she already had the fabric and the ability to make and sell them, but she and her husband decided they wouldn’t profit from a disease.

”That’s not what God wanted me to do. There’s people out there overcharging, but this is just to keep you safe and looking good,” Wilson said.

Tina Trice is a supervisor at the Clinical Transplant Lab. She says wearing the traditional elastic mask all day can hurt behind the ears.

“At the time I ordered those, I didn’t realize she was making them. So I asked her if she could replace the elastic, put ties on them, or something. She said she would be happy to do it, and of course for no charge,” Trice said.

Trice also says that Jessi’s product is a better option overall.

“Her masks are really comfortable to wear all day, they don’t hurt your ears,” says Trice.

“Ours is self-adhesive, basically ace bandage, and she also likes it tied. So I can also make ones that tie,” says Wilson. That’s why Trice reached out to NBC12, to nominate Jessi for our Acts of Kindness, which also comes with a gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

“For your wonderful generous deed, here is $300 and a $50 gift card,” says Trice.

Jessi, along with the help of her daughter, has given away more than 1,000 masks to anyone who needs it, free of charge.

An amazing accomplishment. The reality is this, coronavirus cases are surging once again in several states. Although Virginia is in phase three, we’re not out of the woods just yet. There’s no vaccine and we can all do our part.

”Do what you can, wash your hands, wear a mask and pray a lot,” says Wilson.

As for the money $300 reward?

”I’m going to buy more fabric, that’s where it’s going to go, absolutely. Each one is made with love and that makes a big difference, everyone is made with love.”

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