BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A local couple is giving back to the community by providing others with much-needed masks to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Chris and Leticia Rivera say they have not been able to see their family for almost three weeks due to social distancing.
The couple has also closed their dog grooming shop, due to the stay-at-home-order.
Their family consists of ten children, seven grand children, and three more grandchildren on the way. They usually see their family daily and now their Disney playroom remains empty.
Once they found out there was a lack of masks in the community they decided to create masks of their own.
They are donating them to anyone in need.
"The reason why we are doing this is so we can try to get this under control and so we can get back to our family," said Chris Rivera.
They hope by making these free masks made from new unused dog bandannas will help slow down the spreading of the virus.
"I am able to do something so little that has impacted a lot of people," said Leticia Rivera. "I feel sorry because I am getting phone calls from people asking me to make like 300-to-400. It's just me and my little sewing machine."
Leticia has made masks for about five days now and starts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
They have given masks to law enforcement, medical professionals and doctors.
On Sunday, they gave 60 masks away to a dialysis center.
The couple has children who are essential workers and are asking the community to do what they can to help the many workers.
"The medical staff they are our front lines and law enforcement are the front lines in this battle," said Chris Rivera. "And them not having the protective gear that they need is like sending our soldiers to war without bullets or weapons."
To ensure their safety the Rivera's are leaving the masks outside of their door with individuals names on it.
"This is not the time to be profiting we are all going to take a financial hit from this situation that is out of our control," said Leticia Rivera. "Me charging for something that is needed, to me it would be an injustice."
The masks are made of just fabric and the couple is recommending for people to add additional layers of protection if they can.
The Rivera's say they are not looking for any financial donations, but if you have any extra materials such as elastic it would be appreciated.
If you would like to learn how to make your own or donate items reach out to the Rivera's at their Facebook.