An Iowa woman is knitting hundreds of homemade face masks and has put them on a “giving tree”
for her neighbors to take during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
Deb Siggins, 55, from the city of Lisbon, began making the masks in late March after a local hospital, UnityPoint St. Luke’s, asked for donations because of a shortage.
Siggins donated her earliest creations to the hospital, but didn’t stop there.
“My goal was to make 100 and donate them to the hospital, but then my friends and family wanted some, too,” said Siggins, who works at a doctor’s office.
In all, she estimates she’s made about 400 masks.
Siggins, who covers the cost of all materials herself, said she had a desire to use her craft to help others during the crisis.
“I just felt like [my knitting] is a gift that I could put it towards other people, because it’s a gift that God has given me,” she said.
She decided to hang the DIY masks on a tree near her home when she realized she wouldn’t be able to observe social distancing guidelines if she handed them to her neighbors directly.
“It was hard to reach everybody, so I just put on Facebook that I had a mask tree,” she said.
Siggins and her husband usually adorn the tree with decorations for Christmas and Easter.
But this year, “instead of hiding eggs in the tree, we put masks on it,” she said on the TV program.
“It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving,” Siggins said. “It’s been a hit.”
She’s also made masks for her co-workers, the elderly patients at the doctor’s office where she works, her local fire department and grocery store employees — and plans to “keep doing it until [they aren’t] needed anymore.”
“There’s a big demand out there,” Siggins said.
Photo: Debra Siggins