Coronavirus: Iowa woman puts homemade masks on ‘giving tree’

LISBON, Iowa — An Iowa woman enjoys decorating the tree outside her home at Christmas and Easter. But these are different times. With the coronavirus pandemic creating a need for face coverings, Deb Siggins has made hundreds of homemade masks -- and is hanging them on the tree.

>> Coronavirus: Florida shop owner makes face coverings from skin of Burmese pythons

Siggins, 55, of Lisbon, said she began making the masks after UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids asked for donations in March when the facility was facing a shortage.

“My goal was to make 100 and donate them to the hospital, but then my friends and family wanted some, too,” Siggins told “Good Morning America.”

After donating her supply, Siggins kept making masks, ABC News reported.

Siggins, who enjoys knitting, said she has made at least 400 masks. Siggins began putting the masks on the tree outside her home, and they are free on a first-come, first-serve basis, “Good Morning America” reported.

>> Coronavirus: N95 masks lost in tractor-trailer fire on Middle Tennessee interstate

Siggins puts out 30 masks at a time and has been creating new patterns and designs.

“I just felt like (my sewing) is a gift that I could put it towards other people because it’s a gift that God has given me,” Siggins told “Good Morning America.”

>> Coronavirus checklist: 100-plus disinfectants that may kill coronavirus on surfaces

Siggins said she realized social distancing guidelines would make passing out masks difficult, so she came up with the idea of using her tree and let people know via social media. Siggins covers the costs of making the masks.

“Instead of hiding eggs in the tree, we put masks on it,” Siggins told “Good Morning America.

>> Coronavirus symptoms: What you need to know

“It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving,” Siggins said. “It’s been a hit.

“I’m a giver, not a taker, so I feel really good.”

>> Coronavirus: Know the facts directly from the CDC

>> Coronavirus: Can the government make you stay home if you are sick?