Hays woman creates masks to help protect community

BY ANNISTON WEBER

Cynthia Weigel felt called to help her community when the first COVID-19 case appeared in Hays in March. With family members who could be impacted by catching the virus, she wanted to do anything she could to assist the community in staying healthy. So, in her free time, she started hand-making cloth masks.

“As COVID-19 first started showing up here in the U.S., it seemed to be targeting elderly individuals,” Weigel said. “My mom is in her 80s and not in good health. I felt God’s calling to do this and was an obedient servant.”

When Weigel initially began creating her masks, she intended to make just enough to donate to the local nursing homes and other non-profit agencies.

“I donated hundreds of masks,” she said. “I wanted to do something to protect the elderly and other individuals who are considered high risk.”

At first, the masks were strictly donations.

“When I felt the calling to make masks for the elderly, I knew I could not charge for them,” she said. “How can you put a price on someone’s life?”

Eventually, though, Weigel had enough mask requests that she felt comfortable charging for supplies. As of now, she uses any additional profit to donate to her church.

“I did have people start to give me money for supplies, but I knew I couldn’t keep it,” she said. “God reminded me that churches were hurting financially with the shutdown. What a better way to serve our Lord than to donate every penny I received to the local church?”

Since COVID cases are on the rise, Weigel has noticed an increase in the requests for her masks.

“I used to have a selection on hand, now I am telling individuals it may be a week before I can get theirs made,” she said.

The average time it takes Weigel to create a mask is 10 minutes.

“When I first started it was taking me about 20 minutes to make a mask, but I’ve learned shortcuts along the way,” she said. “I get requests all the time for specific patterns.”

Weigel sells her masks for $5 each, usually on the Facebook marketplace. She can make adult and children’s sizes and has several pre-made masks along with taking requests for specific designs.

Her most requested pattern, Weigel said, is Kansas City Chiefs designs. However, she said she is partial to the Kansas Jayhawk patterns she creates.

Weigel said every time she finishes a mask she is reminded of how God sees people.

“When I get everything together, it’s all laying there in a mess, and once it’s sewn together it creates something beautiful and protective,” she said. “That reminds me of how God looks at us. Some of us are rugged, plain, dull, bright, but when God looks at us he sees the finished product.”

For mask requests, Weigel can be reached via her personal Facebook page or contacted through the Facebook marketplace.

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