CARTERET COUNTY, NC (WITN) - With masks and other protective equipment still in short supply all across the country, several groups here in the East are doing their part to help keep healthcare employees and other essential workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of those groups has been nicknamed the Carolina Colours Maskateers, and their mission stretches all across the country.
"They've gone on the front lines to New York City hospitals, they've gone to Texas, to Louisiana," says Cookie Davenport, a New Bern resident.
But they've also helped supply their community members right here in eastern Carolina.
"A little old man had a bandana on, but he had it on backwards. And I approached him and asked if he would like a mask. He was close to tears in his eyes because I was able to give him a mask," Davenport says as she tears up.
That mask is just one of more than 2,700 masks made possible through their efforts every day.
"If that's the only person that has been blessed by this endeavor, it made it all worth it," Davenport adds.
Now more than 60 members in the Carolina Colours community cut, iron, and sew fabric to be sent anywhere they're needed.
They even provide kits for those that want to help.
"Everybody has taken a part, everybody is supporting the effort," says Davenport.
And it's an effort shared by another group in Carteret County.
"These kind of times they do bring out the bad, but they bring out, I believe a lot of good," says Cheri Leichleiter, a Carteret County resident.
Leichleiter started a Facebook group that now has more than 180 people from counties all across the east helping make more than 2,000 masks for those most vulnerable.
"I had a mother of a nurse, her daughter has MS. And when she picked them up, she was in tears and said 'Cheri, you're an angel. You might be saving my daughter's life," Leichleiter explained.
It was moment that gave new purpose to their selfless acts.
"It had not occurred to me that they might be saving someone's life," Leichleiter says.
Leichleiter says anyone in need of masks or interested in helping in some way can visit their Facebook page - Carteret County's Handmade COVID Masks.