Texas Living

Meet the Texans Behind the Masks

By Staci Parks 10.4.21

Texans helping Texans is a critical piece of our state’s cultural foundation; it’s who we are. Like so many other things, that principle has been tested throughout the past 18 months as the world has faced an ongoing pandemic. But it’s given Texans across the state an opportunity to rise up and help where they can.

In the early days of the pandemic, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) became scarce. Talented Texans rallied, making masks for frontline workers and members of their communities. Meet a few Texas-local mask makers.

Central Texas

In Waco, master tailor Roxana Robles and her daughter Michelle got to work as soon as they heard about the medical community’s need for masks. AllRec Awards, known for its letter jackets and varsity bags, shifted production to make about 150 masks a day for local doctors’ offices and hospitals.

The urge to help extended to newer Texans, too. In Austin, a group of refugees associated with the Multicultural Refugee Coalition’s Open Arms Studio used their skills to create approximately 25 masks per person per day.

East Texas

Some East Texans, like Bullard boutique owner Megan Skeeters, put aside their business endeavors and used their resources and machinery for mask making. Deb Luttrell, owner of quilt shop Stitchin’ Heaven in Quitman, took her talents to YouTube, filming mask-making tutorials and offering patterns for others eager to help.

North Texas

From Dallas to Plano, groups and individuals across North Texas found ways to get involved. At one point, Plano’s Stitch House Dallas was handing out mask-making kits, complete with instructions and materials for approximately 12 masks. Once completed, people were encouraged to hand out the masks or return them to the store in exchange for another kit.

Big Tex also got involved (kind of). Many of the State Fair of Texas’ seasonal creative arts employees put aside other projects to sew masks for local hospitals and nursing homes.

South Texas

In Katy, Texas Rescue Crafters, led by Amy Casto, switched up their usual cause of sewing supplies to help animals (such as those affected by the Australian wildfires) to make masks for healthcare workers. 

Students also found ways to help through innovative means. League City siblings Michelle and Nicolas Davis worked as a team designing and sewing masks with a unique touch: 3D-printed ear-relief straps.

West Texas

In the western part of the state, service organizations became a saving grace for those in need of masks. Members of the Junior League of Lubbock made hundreds of masks for workers at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Amarillo’s Blankets of Love sewed masks and gowns for local hospitals and organizations in need. Angels of El Paso soothed concerns of weary medical professionals in the area by providing hard-to-get masks.

Throughout the pandemic, Texans have stepped up when needed, whether it’s making more than 9,000 cloth masks for frontline workers or being a good neighbor from a distance.

If you’re interested in contributing, click here to learn how you can support Texas’ first responders.

© 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance