Good Deeds

A Tree That Grows What? See The Unique Way One Woman Is Keeping Her Town Safe

She wanted to help healthcare workers in her area. Now she's helping hundreds of other neighbors stay healthy too.

Christmas is months away, but the spirit of giving is alive and well on a small farm in Lisbon, Iowa.

When Deb Siggins heard that one of the nearby hospitals had a shortage of masks to protect their staff during the coronavirus pandemic, she sat down at her sewing machine, where she usually stitches quilts, and got to work.

Deb Siggins donated over 100 masks to healthcare workers at UnityPoint St. Luke's in Iowa. Deb Siggins Facebook

After Siggins dropped off her donations to UnityPoint St. Luke's hospital, she made more masks to help others in the community.

"My goal was to make 100 and donate them to the hospital, but then my friends and family wanted some, too," Siggins told Good Morning America.

Because of social distancing restrictions, she decided to hang the masks on a tree on her family's farm, so that people could come and take them without having to have any physical contact.

Siggins and her husband usually hide eggs in the tree for Easter, but since their family celebration wasn't taking place this year, she figured she'd use it for the homemade masks instead.

The masks come in a variety of patterns and colors, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for anyone that needs one. Siggins says she usually puts 30 masks on the tree at a time.

Masks that Siggins has sewn. Deb Siggins Facebook

After Siggins posted to social media to let people know about the masks, they quickly started to disappear.

She and her husband have enjoyed watching as people visit the tree: "It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving. It's been a hit. "

Ever since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started recommending that regular citizens start wearing face masks to protect themselves, Siggins said the need has grown significantly.

"It went crazy," Siggins told CNN after word got out about her project. "I'm getting so many requests from everywhere to the point where I can't keep up."

Siggins uses her own money to buy the material for the masks, and she's given them to everyone she knows, including employees at the doctor's office where she works, local firefighters and grocery workers.

While it's a lot of work, Siggins says she's happy she can use her talents to help others during the crisis. So far, she's made over 400 masks and she says she doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"I just felt like [my sewing] is a gift that I could put it towards other people, because it's a gift that God has given me," Siggins said. "I'm a giver not a taker, so I'm always happy to help."

How can you start something good?

Inspired by Deb Siggins?

You can make your own protective masks and donate them to front-line workers who desperately need them. There are tons of tutorials (like this one) with free mask-making patterns online. Check out Mask Match for information on where and how to donate them.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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