A Pueblo West woman whose baking industry is idled by coronavirus is sewing protective face masks for those in need.

A local baker whose livelihood is idled by coronavirus concerns has found a new way to stay busy, turning to her sewing machine to crank out protective face mask for nurses and others.


Brenda Huffman of Pueblo West, owner of Foodhearts Custom Cakes, has made nearly 100 masks in two days, deploying them to Parkview nurses and anyone else in need of some extra protection.


“I see all these nurses and first responders (posting on social media) that they don’t have masks. I am not doing cakes so I decided I will just sit down and sew,” Huffman said.


Because her family is full of first-responders like her husband who is a firefighter, she felt compelled to do her part to help. She has a surplus of fabric but has run through all the elastic she had.


“The last two days I have made close to 100 masks. I am trying to work as fast as I can,” she said.


She has to battle with her tendency to be a perfectionist and tell herself straight lines are not so important right now. The masks are “not code but if you don’t have something this is something and can be worn over the protective one,” she said.


The masks are hand washable with hot water and disinfectant and can be reused. Plus, “they are cute,” she said.


She has posted about the masks on the “I live in Pueblo West” Facebook page and just on Monday got about 150 requests via the social media page. A lot of the requests are from Parkview Medical Center nurses.


“I need a bigger coffee pot,” she joked. “I will go all night - as long as I can keep going.”


“Hopefully they will save a life,” she said.


In keeping with social distancing protocol, she is placing the masks in bags and labeling them with recipients’ names. She puts them on her front porch bench and invites the recipients to come pick them up.


She also is receiving plenty of additional supplies from donors who are leaving fabric and elastic in her mailbox. Right now her greatest need is the elastic which she said is sold out everywhere.


She is well stocked with hand wipes and disinfectant to keep her home safe.


She tries not to worry too much, “but it is so scary right now. I am just afraid they will not let us drive and I have grandkids that live far away - I don’t want to miss seeing them,” she said.


tharmon@chieftain.com


Twitter: @tracywumps