Woman Creates Neighborhood ‘Giving Tree’ With Her Free Homemade Face Masks

Photo by Deb Siggins

Rather than giving away free apples like a Shel Silverstein storybook, this giving tree in Iowa is offering free handmade face masks to the people of Lisbon.

55-year-old Deb Siggins first began making the cloth masks for healthcare workers after their local hospital began experiencing shortages amidst the novel coronavirus outbreaks. Initially, Siggins only wanted to donate 100 of her masks to medical workers; but then her family members and friends began requesting masks of their own.

Siggins has since made more than 400 masks, all of which she paid for out of pocket as a doctor’s office employee.

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Because Siggins realized that she could not hand the masks directly to her neighbors without violating social distancing guidelines, she decided to hang them on a local tree so passerby could take the masks at their leisure.

Since Siggins made a Facebook post about her giving tree, the masks have been a hit with the community.

“It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving … It’s been a hit,” Siggins told Good Morning America. “I’m a giver, not a taker, so I feel really good.”

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Although the tree can hold about 30 masks at a time—most of which are gone within a day of being hung—Siggins says she is constantly making new masks and using new patterns to restock the tree’s inventory. She has also been making special masks for firefighters, first responders, paramedics, and grocery store employees.

Siggins is reportedly determined to continue with her labor of love until the pandemic is finally over.

This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.

Photo by Deb Siggins

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