Boki Pusac, an employee at Gigi’s Fabric Shop in Brandon, is helping the Mask Makers of Tampa Bay by sewing a shield for masks to be donated to medical workers.

Brandon resident Carmen Wilson is doing what she can to bring the community together in this time of crisis, and she is asking for residents’ help. Wilson, known as Gigi, established the Facebook group Mask Makers of Tampa Bay recently to make disposable masks and shields that can be worn over N95 masks. These items will be distributed to local medical and doctors’ offices that request them.

Wilson, who owns Gigi’s Fabric Shop in Brandon, started the group last month, and it already has more than 200 members with the goal of making as many masks as possible.

The volunteers are working on two types of masks. One will be created from the blue sterile wrap (Halyard H600), the same material that covers tools in operating rooms.

Tampa General Hospital’s chief nurse and anesthetist, Nicole Hubbard, had the idea of incorporating the blue sterile wrap because in the past she made beds for the homeless with it.

The second mask uses a cotton fabric one with a pocket on the inside in which medical personnel can place any kind of filter in it.

“Many in anesthesia gave their scrub caps to our team in the emergency room and Wilson was nice enough to get these made for the staff,” Hubbard said.

The group is also creating scrub caps for the emergency room doctors and nurses to cover their hair.

Owner of New Age Reprographics Alex Prieto and eight of his team members turned in more than 500 shields for the Mask Makers of Tampa Bay. He feels this would be their way of giving back to the community.

“Since we are a printing company, we came up with a rigid plastic that did get cut out through our machine for these shields,” said Prieto.

For more information, contact Gigi’s Fabric Shop at 661-9000 or check out the Mask Makers of Tampa Bay’s group Facebook page at

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.