A tree in the middle of a neighborhood in Lehi has more than leaves hanging from it. There are also masks of a variety of sizes, colors and patterns hanging from the tree, along with a sign indicating that people are welcome to take them, if needed.
Trisha Parker wanted to do something to help while people are trying to stay safe and healthy and not become sick with COVID-19.
“I’m not a doctor or a nurse, so I can’t medically help anyone through this pandemic,” Parker said. “What I can do, however, is help my neighbors. It’s my way of serving those around me through this strange time.”
Parker said that she had heard about other people making masks and also knew people who did not have masks, but wanted them.
“I’ve got lots of fabric. I can sew,” she said. “I’d rather that people have masks and be safe than not have them because they can’t sew.”
So, a couple of weeks ago, she made 50 fabric masks and hung them from a tree in her yard. She announced the mask giving tree on her neighborhood’s social media page and about an hour later, most of the masks had been taken. She then got busy making more masks for the tree.
Parker makes the masks in an assembly-line process so she can work on several at a time. Each mask is washed and placed into an individual baggie with a tag indicating the size. Then, they are tied onto the tree with ribbon. Parker’s oldest daughter, one of her three children, often helps with the mask-making process.
People who have taken masks from the tree have been very appreciative, according to Parker.
“People have been grateful,” Parker said. “Now they have some that fit their kids or fit them.” Rather than a one-size-fits-all mask, Parker makes them in six sizes, from children’s size two up to adult large.
The different fabrics that Parker uses have been a hit, especially with children who have received masks with “Avengers,” “Moana,” “Frozen” and other popular prints. Some people have donated fabric so she could continue to make more.
In addition to the masks Parker has made for the giving tree, she has made some for family members and friends and for members of the Lehi Police Department. In all, she has made between 200 to 300 masks.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
“At first, very few people were wearing masks. It was kind of disheartening,” Parker said. “I’d rather have everyone who wants one to have access. I’ve got the skills and it’s fun for me to make them.”