Varsity Swim Coach Makes Face Masks from Home


Photo by Monzingo

Varsity Swim Coach Patti Monzingo sew masks together during Covid-19 pandemic.

Khushi Chhaya

During the weeks of Covid-19 quarantine, varsity swimming head coach Patti Monzingo has been working hard to sew face masks and make a difference in her community.

Monzingo has sewn nearly 600 fabric face masks in the past two months, donating them to local hospitals and essential businesses and selling them to individuals in her area.

“I wanted to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Monzingo said. “It was my way to contribute my skill of sewing and do something good for someone else.”

Crafting the masks has also provided Monzingo with a distraction from life during the pandemic and the worries that come with it, such as concern for the health of her older relatives and the loss of her swimming lesson business this summer.

Monzingo wears one of her hand sewn masks.

Monzingo first got the idea to make face masks from a friend in Victoria, Texas, who sent her an article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailing the need for medical equipment. Monzingo experimented with a few different patterns of masks before developing her final product, a washable fabric face covering with a removable filter and lined with pipe-cleaner to help it form to the face.

Each mask is made of colorful fabric and contains a filter on which Monzingo writes a short, positive message or quote.

She has donated about 340 masks to various facilities in need of protective equipment, including Dallas-area hospitals, nursing homes, her doctor’s offices and other essential businesses.

“Covid-19 is scary to us all,” Monzingo said. “The only way we are going to heal as a country, as the world, is to come together as one large community and help each other. I discovered the need and I’m doing my best to help one mask at a time.”

Monzingo makes her masks with a multitude of different fabric patterns.

Monzingo sells the rest of the masks to members of her community. Each mask is sold for $15. Most of the money made from these sales goes toward the purchase of more materials, Monzingo said.

Monzingo suggested that anyone wanting to help out during this time should do whatever they can, as every act of kindness, big and small, makes a difference.

“The simple act of writing something pretty in chalk on the sidewalk will brighten someone’s day,” Monzingo said. “Showing others small acts of kindness such as ‘thinking of you’ homemade cards, baking cookies, checking on the elderly, cutting your neighbor’s lawn–let your creativity wander.  Everyone can contribute.”