Central Minnesota woman making masks for entire town during pandemic

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A Central Minnesota woman is hard at work using her free time to help the community she lives in stay safe during this pandemic.

Donna Pinz lives in the small town of Isle, Minnesota, with a population of about 700.

"We have a lot to offer for a small town," said Pinz, who helped make masks for the entire town. We're just really friendly people, she added.

At Thompsons Lake Country Drug, they're trying to stay busy. Owner Kris Thompson said they wanted to provide masks for the town at the start of the pandemic, but they had one problem.

"It was very hard for us a couple months ago to even find masks," said Thompson.

That's where Pinz comes into the mix, and she was ready for the challenge.

"I've been sewing masks for over two months," Pinz said.

Referred through a church connection, Pinz is now making masks for the pharmacy to hand out for free as customers come and go.

"I give out masks to people daily that I don't know and they walk in and go, 'Oh, I heard you have masks here,' and we just hand them out," Thompson said.

So far, Pinz has made 1,000 masks for the store to hand out, and about 500 more for friends and family.

"They think I'm crazy that I make so many. 'Aren't you bored?' they ask; I say 'no,'" Pinz said.

She sews about 40 to 50 masks per day, but there are some things that force her to take a little break.

"It depends if I have to stop and watch the birds or if I have a new set of geese that are home or if a deer walks through the yard," Pinz said.

Pinz is thankful for some of the donated material because her initial goal was to supply a mask for each person in the city. So far, she's done just that.

"She doesn't slow down," Thompson said.

Pinz isn't stopping anytime soon, keeping this lake town and its visitors safe, one stitch at a time.

"I've been blessed with the talent to sew so I'm using it," Pinz said. "It's my way of giving back."