CORAL SPRINGS, FL – If things were normal right now, Diane Gonzalez Simpson would be busy doing taxes for dozens of clients across the country.
Instead, the Coral Springs CPA (and former City Commission candidate) is spending a good chunk of her day making face masks for anyone who needs them to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID 19).
Simpson, 57, is doing it not to make a profit, but to address “the numbers” – the more people who wear masks in public places, the fewer people will get sick.
“It’s fifth-grade math that you can plot on a chart,” she said. “The best way to keep the hospital staff safe is not to bombard them with sick, hyper-infectious people.”
She’s joined a growing volunteer army of professionals who know how to sew and want to give back to their communities by mass-producing masks for people who need them. Across the nation, including Coral Springs, people who are out of work or have extra time are dusting off old sewing machines, buying up fabric, and working into the night to stitch together masks for hospital, grocery store, and other front-line workers.
Simpson said she has donated masks to nonprofit employees serving food to hungry strangers, including Gateway Food Pantry at Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs. She said she has also given them away to cashiers at grocery stores like ALDI who had no protection from facing hundreds of shoppers a day.
Producing masks is a simple home operation she started with her husband, Ron, weeks before masks were required to be worn in public.
In between serving her accounting clients, she and Ron, along with her church friend, spend about four hours a day making 50 or so masks. So far, they’ve made about 1,000 masks and sold them for $3-$5 each.
“I started doing it because it just felt like the right thing to do,” she said.
Simpson learned to sew some 15 years ago during the time her daughters were active in Girl Scouts. Until the coronavirus outbreak, she hadn’t touched a sewing machine in years.
Now is the time, she said, for others who know how to sew to do their civic duty and make masks for friends and neighbors. She’s no stranger to public service, working as a volunteer at Gateway Food Pantry and other organizations, as well as running unsuccessfully twice for Coral Springs City Commission.
She said she’ll continue making the masks until it’s no longer necessary to wear them in public.
“We’ll keep helping people for as long as it takes,” she said.
If interested in ordering masks, contact Simpson at: CPAdsimpson@gmail.com.
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