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Tampa woman making masks in her own kitchen to help during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 1:15 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 16:07:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. - The demand for masks continues to rise, not just for first responders but the general public.

In Tampa, there is one woman who has been trying to help, one stitch at a time.

“I thought I need to step up, I need to start doing something, I love to sew, so because of that I thought this is a no brainer for me,” said Mary Ann Jorgensen.


Jorgensen’s mask-making mission hits close to home. It started with her niece.

“She works in the doctor’s office, so I made quite a few for the doctor's office and they were ecstatic because they couldn’t find the regular masks, the medical masks,” said Jorgensen.

Often up past midnight, armed with her needle and thread, she has gone on to create about 200 masks in the past two weeks.

“I mail out five or six packages every couple days, to nurses, doctors, Meals on Wheels,” said Jorgensen. “I think about the person that’s going to wear them, and I think about what they are going to go through that day and maybe who they are helping saving.”

However, it’s more than just keeping our first responders safe; it’s about making them look good. Jorgensen attended class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.


“So I take a little bit of that skill and put it into making the masks, I want them to look nice, I want people to be happy to put them on, and not like, ‘oh it’s a drudgery wearing a mask,’’’ said Jorgensen.

From footballs to parrots, to camouflage, she has a stash of fun fabrics. She doesn’t plan to stop stitching until this pandemic is over.

“I only ask don’t sell them, its a gift of my time and my effort, my gift to you,” said Jorgensen.

For more information, you can email Jorgensen at