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Bradford woman sews over 100 masks for front-line workers (4 photos)

Area businesswoman puts sewing skills to good use, making masks for front line workers

Bradford resident Shanna Brander is a hard-working mother of two with her own business as a registered massage therapist, but due to COVID-19, she's had to close up shop for the time being. 

"I felt so helpless sitting at home doing nothing, but I suck at just doing nothing," she said.

She had seen posts floating around on Facebook about the call for masks, and reached out to some nurses, doctors and clients who work in senior homes in town to see if she could help by making masks.

"That's how it all got started," Brander explained. 

Last week, she sewed more than 100 masks for those at the Elden Retirement Residence, other front-line workers and those who are immunocompromised. 

She said she will continue to make more masks until she runs out of supplies. 

"As long as people are asking, I won't say no," she said. 

Brander noted there is a large request for them, especially in nursing homes. She uses 100 per cent cotton and have designed them to have a disposable filter placed between layers to act as a barrier. 

"I tweaked the pattern to put a pipe cleaner at the nose so the mask is a little more forming to the face," she said. 

But the masks aren't all she plans to create. 

"I'm moving on to surgical caps next," she said. 

She says all the hospitals are asking for them as they prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 patients. 

"When I run low on supplies, I will likely ask the town if anyone has more fabric for me to sew to donate," she said. "I cannot believe how many people need these."

Brander joined a Facebook group this week of members who  are also making masks throughout the Greater Toronto Area. She said there are more than 300 people in the group who are now sewing or donating materials. 

"It's amazing how the community is coming together to the front-line workers."