Local fashion industry sews masks to help protect workers from coronavirus

Student Alexis Salguero, instructor Letty Sanchez, and students Clara Atallah and Jonathan Fuentes are making masks for first responders. Photo courtesy of THOS FASHION SCHOOL.

Staff report

Boca fashion students are using their sewing machines for a good cause.

THOS FASHION SCHOOL students are working on making masks for first responders who are out on the front lines battling against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have been at the Boca school from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. working on mask construction.

“I feel really proud of what we are doing” fashion school student Jonathan Fuentes said. “It feels like we are doing something.”

He said three students at a time are working on the masks. The first day they churned out about 150 masks.

“We were trying to make as many as we could,” he said.

He said the students decided to volunteer after their teacher heard from a friend who works in the hospital about the shortage of masks.

“We volunteered,” he said. “It was the right thing to do. The government keeps saying the masks are on the way. We needed action. We needed something in the moment. It’s what we can do in this situation, help each other.”

THOS students are also donating the masks to the general public as available.

Delray Beach-based fashion designer Amanda Perna is also busy creating masks for healthcare workers in need.

She is asking anyone that has extra materials to donate them. She also has videos and patterns for people who want to pitch in at home.

“If we would get 100 of us to each sew even just 10 masks a day, we can sew 1,000 masks a day locally and keep our people covered, literally,” she said.