Fresno embroidery shop making masks for medical workers fighting coronavirus

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As healthcare workers continue to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Fresno-based business is working to return the favor.

The owner of a local embroidery shop is shifting gears and getting others involved in giving back.

Thomas Nakazawa is proving to us that even in times of isolation, we're still all in this together.

Nakazawa, the owner of Stitch Master Custom Embroidery and Screen Printing, may have had to temporarily close up shop, but he's not letting that obstacle get in the way of helping medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

Typically using his machines to embroider merchandise for schools, businesses and special interest groups, he's retooling them to make face masks and cover-ups for medical workers and hospital patients.

But he's not doing it alone, having served the Valley for decades, he's connecting his contacts to mass-produce the protective barriers, even calling on fabric stores, local sewers and volunteers who are interested.

Though they're not medical grade, these masks mean hospitals can save N-95 resources for when they're truly necessary.

His efforts are inspired by his mother, who told him to do something for the community or something for his fellow person every day.

In addition to face shields and cover-ups, the fabric masks will have a pocket to place in N-95 type material.

Nakazawa has a Facebook group to gather volunteers and donations to cover costs.
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