A group of almost 40 women at the Heather Gardens retirement community sews hundreds of cloth masks.

Heather Gardens is an active adult retirement community in Aurora, Colorado, and over the past few weeks, a growing group of women has been sewing up a storm. A simple project intended to help others has grown into a major effort. The group, which calls themselves the “Face Mask Warriors”, are sewing masks for first responders and medical workers in the Denver area. 

The effort began with Carolyn Morris and Aleta Antoinette, who started with about 10 sewers and quilters, and now have 34 women sewing masks with them. The group has sewn hundreds of cloth face masks, donating them to the Arapahoe County Sherriff’s Office, where Morris’s son-in-law is a bureau chief, and the Children’s Hospital, where her daughter works.

The Face Mask Warriors have also been sewing and handing out masks among the retirement community, as many residents there are among the most at-risk populations for getting the virus. 

They have been getting a lot of support from the local community and are using supplies and materials that have been donated to help the cause. They'll continue to cut and sew masks as long as there's a need. With face coverings expected to be recommended for at least several more weeks, it's likely these women will have plenty to do.

Morris has always loved helping others and has spent her life doing just that; Antionette is the founder of a local non-profit, Imagine Peace Foundation and Homes That Give, and she works to give back in many ways to the Colorado community. 

These women are part of the hero network that has stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic, showing that we really are in this together. Thank you to Carolyn Morris and Aleta Antoinette and the team of sewing mask warriors they have gathered. All of us here in Colorado appreciate your hard work and giving spirits. 

Do you know any other mask makers that we can highlight? Share with us the stories of any local folks you know who are community helpers reaching out, even in small ways, in the comments.