(WXYZ) — Michaela Munyan, 9, learned how to sew in an after-school program at Trinity Lutheran in Utica, but she had no idea her new skills would come in such handy.
Once the pandemic started, Munyan started sewing face masks -- lots of them. So far, she's made more than 500, and she doesn't take a penny for them.
A local 9-year-old is using her after school hobby to help her community. She's now sewn 500+ face masks, and is giving them away! Check out some of her Father's Day designs (including a STAR WARS one). How she's getting some help from her own Dad, on @wxyzdetroit at 6. pic.twitter.com/PYLFRZTOJn— Jenn Schanz (@JennSchanzWXYZ) June 21, 2020
For Michaela, sewing the masks is something she wants to do to give back to her community.
"I get to help other people," Munyan told Action News.
Word quickly got out of Michaela's selfless act, and she started getting requests; not only from people, but also from businesses like restaurants. She received so many inquiries that her parents started a Facebook page to help manage the requests.
People can pick up the masks in Oakland or in Clawson, and requests are managed through the Facebook page.
"It’s different, seeing a 9-year-old, especially making this many," said Michael's dad Matt. "I couldn’t make that many, I couldn’t even make one very well without sewing my finger at least once," Matt joked.
Be he is playing an important role in his daughter's efforts -- he's the official "dad head" model for adult sized men's masks, which Michaela has made a lot, especially in honor of Father's Day. They're decorated with things like fish, guitars, and there's even a Star Wars one.
"She sews them altogether piece-by-piece inside out, and then flips them outside and then stitches the elastic into the ends of them," Matt told Action News.
In addition to adult-sized masks, Michaela also sews kids and even toddler sizes.
She said this is something she plans on continuing, as experts warn that coronavirus is far from over.
"It shows kindness to other people and encourages different people to do the same," the 9-year-old told Action News.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.