Receptionist helps local veterans, community by sewing masks

Jasmine Samis

As mask mandates were enacted across the nation and the world, people struggled to find supplies or learn how to make them themselves by watching tutorials online. Receptionist Robin Gonzalez has sewed for years and saw a way that she could help. 

Gonzalez recruited her nieces to help her make masks for those in need. Her mother even donated more than $800 worth of fabric to make the masks which were then donated to local facilities. 

“My nieces and I started making masks when the girls were out of school,” Gonzalez said. “I taught them how to sew and make masks to be able to distribute to nursing homes, home healthcare, or people who couldn’t afford them.”

Gonzalez’s niece, senior Mallorie Gonzalez enjoyed learning how to make masks to help her community in a way that allowed her to give back.

“Helping make the masks taught me to be humble as I saw how much some people didn’t have,” Mallorie said. “I am glad I was able to help others in some small way.” 

The activity also provided a much needed distraction during quarantine that helped Mallorie deal with some of the issues her family was facing at the time.

“Working on the masks took my mind off of all of the sad things that were happening during the beginning of the pandemic,” Mallorie said. “Some of my family members were sick in the middle of quarantine and sewing helped ease my mind and not overthink.”

Although the masks were made in order to help those who couldn’t get one themselves, there are also people at school who wanted Gonzalez’s masks because they wanted to support her and liked the masks she made.

“I decided to buy Robin Gonzalez’s mask because I not only wanted to support her, but I also know that she sews with good quality,” principal secretary Maria Field said. “I love her masks. If you’re going to wear one, you might as well have fun. She has a wide variety of masks that fit people’s personality.”

Lane Buban, principal at BHS, has also bought many masks from Gonzalez’ collection.

“I would absolutely continue to buy masks from Robin because she makes them how I like them,” Buban said. “I feel pretty comfortable in them.”

One would think that making masks for many other people and organizations would be tough work, but not for Gonzalez or the girls that help her.

“From start to finish, it takes about fifteen minutes per mask.” Gonzalez said. “I taught my nieces how to sew and make masks, so once you know how to make a mask, it won’t take as long.”

Gonzalez has shown the world that she wants to make a difference, even if it’s just a few stitches in a fabric that covers the face. Gonzalez and her nieces will continue to make a difference no matter what life throws at them. 

“Sewing all the masks meant a lot to me because we were able to help others that didn’t have much,” Mallorie said. “I especially enjoyed making masks for the veterans because it was a way to give back for all they have done.”