The pandemic closed schools but didn’t keep elementary school nurse Amber Mehrkens from helping others. She continued to check the temperatures of the childcare students at the school and those of the teachers preparing for distance learning. When she wasn’t in her office, she was home caring for her four children in Mazeppa, Minnesota. During pockets of spare time, Mehrkens began sewing. She created a few hundred masks with the fabric she had on hand, then placed them on her porch for her neighbors to take at no charge. She quickly depleted her supply of fabric and other supplies. After she and a few friends spent several hundred dollars at a craft store, they asked for donations to cover their costs. With help from her children and a few friends, Mehrkens has sewn over 4,000 masks and provided them to the local fire department and area businesses.