For Emily Jimenez and her family, the COVID-19 outbreak meant finding ways to help their community, even during self-isolation.

Emily, an Equipment Ops Specialist in Meridian, Idaho, saw the impacts of the PPE shortage firsthand. Her sister, who is a licensed practical nurse working at one of the several COVID-19 testing tents in the Treasure Valley, asked their mother Jody for homemade masks that met the CDC guidelines to help protect herself from the disease.

Seeing an opportunity to help the community, Emily and her mom worked together to gather supplies, make masks and distribute them to organizations that need them. All totaled, Jody estimates she’s made approximately 75 masks to date.

“My mom and dad are both retired, and this was a way to not only pass time at home but to give back as well,” Emily said, “My mom also volunteered to make some for the WSECO employees that needed them. So I have been bringing them in and placing them up front for anyone that could use them,” she said.

Many communities across our territory are facing similar PPE shortages. Emily says that her family is proud to help out and do their part to prevent the virus from spreading.

“This is such a surreal time for communities all over, so many are making masks. It feels good to be a part of something that can make a difference,” she said.