Issaquah woman starts movement to make masks for healthcare workers

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- We know that just one person's actions can make a difference when times get tough, like the woman in Issaquah who decided to use her skills to make hundreds of face masks for health care workers. But that's not where the story ends.

For hours inside an Issaquah home you hear the vibrations of a sewing machine.

It’s a familiar noise for Kelly Su, a fashion designer by trade and the owner of Cami & Tank.

“I am always looking at pretty things trims and laces,” Su said.

Instead of pretty clothes, she’s churning out face masks of all patterns.

“Our friend Elaine reached out and said, 'Hey, hospitals are in need of masks. Can you sew and donate?'" Su said.

Since then, Su’s efforts have turned into a movement of sewers.

After Su’s call for help, strangers and friends from all over are coming to pick up mask kits from her porch.

They're also watching Su’s YouTube tutorial on how to make a quality mask.

One of 15 families motivated to help is the Minton family. Ray, a consultant, now sits side-by-side with his daughter Elyssa, a senior in high school, making as many masks as they can.

“Elyssa and I aren’t the greatest sewers but we know how to use a machine. Anybody can do it,” Ray said.

Volunteering is a way for people to feel less helpless during these scary times.

“At home we feel so helpless, and we've got the first responders and doctors and nurses, some of which are my friends, doing their best in the front lines of this battle just to give something to give back,” Kathryn Dean said.

Busy giving back also means a distraction from the worries that are keeping Sherry Minton up at night.

“My mom is elderly and she's very ill and so we haven’t been able to see her for several weeks now because we don’t want to accidentally expose her,” Sherry said.

Even now, they are trying to maneuver this new world with gratitude.

“I am so thankful for them and to see they are running out of these PPEs, it’s heartbreaking,” Sherry said.

Su is thankful, too, not just for those on the front lines but to everyone who is helping.

“They are doing it with an open heart you know they are so willing to help and it feels so great we have such a great community,” Su said.

Su says her goal is to make 5,000 masks to donate to health care workers. Collectively her army of volunteers have made around 1,200. If you would like to make the masks you can reach out to Su at

She is also seeking donations to buy more material.

You can donate by going to