TWIN FALLS, Idaho — After the CDC began reccomending people wear face masks when they go outside, community members all over Idaho stepped up and began making masks to help their neighbors. For one Twin Falls family, the meaning behind the masks they're creating is especially important to them.
Every day from 12:00 to 3:00, the Babayan family hands out hand-sewn masks at their shop, Ooh La La, in downtown Twin Falls. Each mask is carefully handled with gloves and sprayed with Lysol before it's wrapped up and ready to distribute. The family says they're making the masks because they know first hand what it feels like to deal with the uncertainty many of us are now facing because of the coronavirus.
"We were in self-isolation, our family, with food shortage for almost five years during the war when we were displaced,' said Liyah Babayan, owner of Ooh La La and mother to 10-year-old Dominic and his 8-year-old sister.
When the family came to Twin Falls as refugees, they say the support from the community changed their lives. That's why when the Babayan siblings heard about the need for masks they wanted to jump in and help.
"The people treated us kindly, saved my mom, and helped her come into Twin Falls to survive, and so now we're trying to save their lives," Dominic said.
The siblings asked their mom to teach them to sew just a few weeks ago. Since then, they've made and donated more than a thousand masks to those in need.
"One mask is one life. So we've saved--we're hoping that we're going to save--one thousand people," Dominic said.
For the family, sewing is something they've done for generations, but even with the family working together--many staying up into the early hours of the morning--Dominic says they can only make so many masks.
"If we used like 20 people, we'd probably save like 5,000 people in one week--the more machines and the more help we use," Dominic said.
If you'd like to help the family create masks, or are in need of one, you can always send them a message on their Facebook page.