CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A former nurse has been busy over the past few weeks hand-making face masks from her Clarks Summit home for the community and front-line workers.
“It started off as that, a couple of people sending messages: ‘Hey do you think we can get a mask?’. It went from that to where we have two to three hundred orders to fulfill,” Jason Thomas, Melissa Graziano’s boyfriend said.
Thomas says she has spent endless days and nights making face masks in her new ‘office space’ at home. Melissa and Jason both have full-time jobs but have not been able to work during the pandemic.
Melissa, a former nurse who understands the importance of wearing a mask at this time, is now spending her time making masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“If wearing a face mask, whether or not it’s one hundred percent protective, it’s still more than nothing and that’s how I look at it,” Graziano said.
In her bedroom lies a variety of fabric patterns, a microbial fiber filter material, a sewing machine, and other supplies to construct the masks. The idea was originally intended for her family members, but has grown since others are now asking Melissa to continue making them.
She says her top priority is to serve those in the front line first.
“I have asked people when they are requesting masks to please let me know that they are front-line or medical field, so I could put their’s above everybody else’s. Theirs takes precedence because they are in the line of fire right now,” Graziano said.
In a time when positivity and gratitude are needed, Melissa and Jason have notice people giving back to them for their continued efforts.
“A lot of people have been paying it forward. We had a couple of people that their order may have came to $27 and they $40, they told us to take the remainder and put it to the next one, pay it forward,” Thomas said.
For Melissa, she’s just hoping to help her community stay safe.
“I want to see everybody with one of my masks on. I want to make sure everybody is covered and protected, so that’s my goal,” Graziano said.