Farmington Hills woman makes masks for neighbors to take off her porch

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – When video from a home’s surveillance camera makes it onto the news, it’s usually because of a home invasion or burglary, but in this case neighbors are being encouraged to take what has been left out on the porch.

A woman in Farmington Hills is making masks for her neighbors and have been leaving them outside.

Between taking care of her daughters and a full time job as a social worker, Barrett Harr said she’ll keep making masks as long as she has fabric -- and the demand is only growing as word spreads.

Neighbors and strangers have been stopping by Harr’s porch for weeks and picking up free masks.

“Yesterday we got an Amazon delivery and the delivery person picked up a couple on their way,” Harr said.

The masks are piled on a hammock on her front porch and available to anyone.

“I send an email out and say masks are out from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., please come take what you need," Harr said. “And every day about 100 masks are picked up from different people in our neighborhood.”

Harr has a chronic kidney disease and has made nearly 850 masks since April.

“I personally have medical challenges, so it’s funny because everyone thinks that this is really about helping everyone else,” Harr said. “But truthfully, the more people who wear masks, the sooner I can get out of the house so that I can be safe.”

When the pandemic hit Michigan, she decided to put her quilting skills to good use.

“All you really need is a couple layers of fabric, so I had fabric laying around and my neighbors have been really generous and donated fabric as well. All you have to do is be able to make a rectangle so it stays together,” Harr said. “If you could cut a piece of paper you could pretty much do this as well. It’s been really easy.”

She said even her daughters have chipped in and helped. School may be over for the rest of the academic year, but there’s still an opportunity to learn.

“I’ve always told my children to think about how they can be helpers,” Harr said. “This gives us something that we can do instead of the things that we can’t do."

Friends and neighbors have been donating fabric, old shirts and money so Harr can buy more material. If you’d like to help, you can email Barrett Harr here.

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