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Children at Hill's Youth Center give back by crafting face masks

Bethany Powell, left, cuts out mask material using a pattern with direction from Sandra Edelman.

Bethany Powell, left, cuts out mask material using a pattern with direction from Sandra Edelman, child youth programs assistant, at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Kayla Hoffmann, left, Training and Curriculum Specialist, and Bethany Powell, center, watch as David Warren pins mask material to a pattern.

Kayla Hoffmann, left, training and curriculum specialist, and Bethany Powell, center, watch as David Warren pins mask material to a pattern at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Care giver staff and children crafting face coverings

Care giver staff and children craft face coverings at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Millennia Crawford pinning mask material to a pattern.

Millennia Crawford pinning mask material to a pattern at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

David Warren, left, pinning the mask material to a pattern is helped by Sarah Wheelwright.

David Warren, left, pinning the mask material to a pattern is helped by Sarah Wheelwright, school age coordinator, at the Youth Center April 8, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Bethany Powell, left, is helped by Sarah Wheelwright.

Bethany Powell, left, is helped by Sarah Wheelwright, school age coordinator, with pinning a pattern at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Bethany Powell, left, try’s on a completed mask with Sandra Edelman.

Bethany Powell, left, try’s on a completed mask with Sandra Edelman, child youth programs assistant, at the Youth Center April 9, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Children at the center have taken on the task of creating masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- For the health and safety of those around us, face coverings have become a hot commodity. However, due to increased demand they have been a little hard to come by lately.

That’s why some children at Hill Air Force Base’s Youth Center have taken to the task of creating face masks for themselves and for care givers at Hill AFB’s Youth and Child Development Centers.

Johnson said the safety of the children and staff has been paramount during this crisis. All staff, youth and parents that enter our facility are screened to ensure that they are safe to be in the facility. Precautions include social distancing and mask wearing as well.

“When a few children asked why some of us adults were wearing ‘those things’ on our face, we explained what a face mask did to help keep people from spreading germs,” Johnson said.

That’s when the children suggested that they start a project to craft some masks.

“Of course my staff jumped on that and the process began,” Johnson said.

Sandra Edelman, a care giver at the Youth Center, was a major force behind the project. She and other staff members spent a significant amount of time not just making the masks, but teaching the children.

In total, the youth have assisted with crafting nearly 100 masks, which should all be finished this week.

Johnson said the goal is for children attending the Youth Center to learn something from every lesson they do.

“Since this one was their idea, it’s our hope that the youth learn what it takes to make the mask and to give back to our community,” she said.

During the pandemic the center has been focused on looking after the children of some of the parents considered mission essential at the base, helping them with schoolwork and keeping them busy with life-enhancing programs and character development experiences.