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Norfolk woman makes homemade fall, holiday face masks, donates proceeds to charity

Quilter Louise Barbarisi has extra time on her hands now that her weekly quilting sessions are virtual so she is embarking on a new task; making face masks.

NORFOLK, Va. — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right down the road.

In a time where face coverings are vital for our survival, one Norfolk woman took it upon herself to make fall-themed masks and donate them to those in need. 

"A friend of mine got in touch with me and she needed some, so it just took off from there," said local quilter, Louise Barbarisi.

Barbarisi has been making masks ever since the pandemic hit. 

When her quilting sessions were cut short to prevent any potential spread of the virus, she had plenty of leftover fabric she didn't know what to do with. That's when the idea of making face coverings sparked. 

"I started back in March, and I give them to whomever I see that needs them," she said. "I was at Mcdonalds one day and a gentlemen said, 'Oh, are you giving these away,' and I said, 'Yeah,' and then he gave me a donation."

Originally, Barbarisi would give her handmade masks away, but then when people started to give her money, she realized she could donate that money to charity. Specifically, a food pantry at her church.

She is excited for the themed months ahead, and said orders are already stacking up. 

"I have fall fabric, Halloween fabric and Christmas fabric," she said. 

The quiltmaker thinks that even when the virus eventually dissipates, the use for face masks will live on, she hoped sick people will continue to wear them as a courtesy to others.

"I think we'll continue to use them in some respects, but I won't say everywhere,” Barbarisi said.

For orders, email Louise Barbarisi at Louise.Barbarisi@gmail.com.