OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A local woman is using her skills to help homeless women during the pandemic by designing one-of-a-kind face masks.
Deborah Walker loves to draw and paint. She's pretty good at it too.
“I've just always been really good at art and I enjoy it and I’ve studied all kinds of art videos and I was just very good at it,” she said.
Deborah is now using those art skills to design face masks. She even made one for the place she's called home since August, the Micah House in Council Bluffs.
The Micah House is a local homeless shelter. During her stay there, she’s made the best of the situation and has found a way to cope.
“My friend Rebecca and I were sitting at the table upstairs and she said that she was tired of wearing masks,” Walker said. “I said well, I like to draw...maybe I can draw on them for you. She took her mask off and threw it off and said, ‘Draw away.’”
She started out with just one but her masks gained popularity at the shelter.
“Pretty soon, I was in business...everybody wanted one,” she said.
Even the staff.
In a few weeks. She designed nearly 200 masks. Most of them are holiday-themed.
“I enjoy doing it,” she said. “Sometimes they ask me if I can do something special for a family member that died, or a remembrance kind of thing.”
Deborah doesn't make any money from her designs.
“I just share with them but if I can make a few dollars then I sell them,” she said. “I sell them for $5-10, enough to recoup my money...to buy the markers that I need to make them.”
She does it all to better herself and help others move forward.
She's even expanded her efforts to knitting winter headbands for ladies facing tough times…as the cold weather sets in.
“I've taught some of the girls upstairs how to loom and they've made scarves,” she said. “They've made hats and ear warmers and they're just going to town up there.”
As many at the shelter continue battling homelessness and the challenges that come with COVID-19, Walker’s masks are worn throughout the building...turning a bad situation into a tolerable one.