Cary resident creates homemade masks to keep neighbors safe

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Sunday, April 5, 2020
Homemade masks are about to get more popular
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With new recommendations coming from the White House, you will be seeing a lot more of these cloth masks in public places soon.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- With new recommendations coming from the White House, you will be seeing a lot more cloth masks in public places soon. The homemade variety coming directly from just about every neighborhood.

Millions of Americans like Cary resident Brandi Mendenhall are answering the call to help others. Mendenhall made about 20 masks to keep neighbors safe.

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"Well, I think a lot of it is my faith. I also just feel a civic responsibility to do what I can. So I've donated blood. I've tried to make some masks."

Brandi was inspired by her late grandmother, Gene Compton, a self-taught professional sewer at Dan River Mills and Healthtex in Danville, Virginia. Compton would have turned 86 on March 2. On her birthday, Brandi came up with the perfect tribute.

"My neighbor across the street is a nurse and she had forwarded some information to me about making masks because I had asked her about it and I thought it all is lining up with my grandmothers birthday what a nice way to commemorate her legacy really of teaching herself how to sew."

The internet is suddenly flooded with videos on mask construction. On the CDC website, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams explains how to make one out of a t-shirt.

Conflicting reports continue to circulate about using masks. The World Health Organization maintains its stance that masks may not protect you from getting the virus.

"The evidence is quite clear that the wearing of a mask in public doesn't necessarily protect you. But, if a sick person wears a mask then it is less likely that they may infect others," said Dr. Michael Ryan.

Joann Fabrics is teaming with customers supplying take and make masks. So far 25 million have been donated, thanks to people like Brandi.