Burrillville family makes thousands of masks for first responders


BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ To keep herself busy, a Burrillville woman says she and her family have been making thousands of face masks for those working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maricel Rosenberg said she learned to sew by watching YouTube videos and since March, she, her husband and her children have produced more than 4,000 masks.

“I have a notebook I’ve started of all the masks I’ve given out because I love listing their names,” Rosenberg said.

“She started offering them to neighbors, friends, coworkers…eventually, she put it on Facebook and the requests just blew up from there,” her husband Mark said.

“We’ve given them to hospitals, they have gone up to Woman & Infants – and Bringham and Women’s Hospital up in Boston. A lot of clinics and health buildings,” he added.

Among those to receive some of the Rosenberg’s masks was the Harrisville Fire District.

Fire Captain and EMS Coordinator Norman Mainville tells Eyewitness News his station has received dozens of masks and is grateful for each and every one of them.

“It definitely gives us a little boost I have to say, as far as the energy within the fire station and surrounding the events that are going on right now,” Mainville said. “It definitely helped, just in general morale, to know local people and the general public are looking out for us.”

Maricel said she refuses to accept money for the masks, but she’s received plenty of thank you cards and warm wishes. She said that’s all she needs to keep her going.

“I have a lot of cards, I love holding on to them and reading them,” Maricel said.

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