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Serving Our Seniors: Army of face mask makers donates to at-risk group

The sewing effort started with one family and has gathered support from others in the community.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There's a small army of mask-makers in the Queen City, and their mission is to serve seniors.

Harry Patel, who's a pharmacist by trade with the family-owned company Austin Drugs, says what started as a foray into making face masks with just his family, slowly branched out to loved ones and then, the community.

Patel says so far, the crew has sewed about 800 masks and donated them to seniors around the area.

They also sell "flashier" masks to others, with all money going back to making more senior masks.

They have no plans of stopping either. Patel says the responses he's gotten from recipients so far have kept them going.

Credit: Harry Patel

He shared one story of an 82-year-old who recently received one of their masks.

"She called me and said, 'I was using a folded napkin as a mask until you sent me one,'" Pate said. "She sent me a picture of her wearing it, and she said, 'Believe it or not, I am smiling from ear to ear.'"

Credit: Harry Patel

"I shared it with my team of volunteers, and there were a couple of them crying because this is [the] reason we are doing this."

Patel says he picked seniors to serve since they are at-risk and in his opinion, underserved.

Anyone who wants to get involved can contact him through his pharmacy website or through his pharmacy's Facebook or Instagram pages.

This story was inspired by a neighbor on Nextdoor. To contact Vanessa with a story idea, visit her profile here and send her a message. 

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