State police lieutenant spends her free time making face masks for those in need

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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Across the country many people are beginning to make face masks during their free time (now that free time is rather abundant) but for one woman, she's making masks while still balancing a full time job.

In Jackie Joseph's Letcher County home, when she's not at work as a Kentucky State Police lieutenant, the automated sound of pulling thread can be heard at her kitchen table.

It is a sound that has not always been familiar here.

"This is all new fabric," said Jackie, moving three new patches of cloth on her table. "That is six inches by nine inches."

The cloth she uses is 100% cotton.

Besides her work with KSP, she's a mother of a two-year-old and a 21-year-old. On top of all of that, lately she has been a makeshift seamstress.

“I heard a doctor say that they were basically going to war without any ammunition and that really hit home to me," she added.

It was a message that resonated with her. Her husband has been deployed twice, once to Iraq in 2002 and then to Afghanistan in 2010. She herself has been in the KSP uniform for about 18 years.

She also has family in the medical field, so she started to do her part and she began making face masks.

After watching a couple "how to" videos on YouTube, she began making her own, adding and changing how she made them as she went along.

She now has requests from across Kentucky and across the country for the masks.

"Once people started sharing posts and stuff like that, that I had made. I started getting messages from all over the nation," she said.

She spends money buying supplies but does not charge anything for the masks she makes.

What she is doing is something people have always done in times of turmoil: help. She's not doing it alone though.

"Friday night my sewing machine broke," she said, laughing. "And so he [her husband] and my son were both quick to act and go find me another sewing machine and get that to me so I could go back to work."

Jackie prays over all the masks she sends them out. Chronicled in our nation's history, we have always pulled together, no matter the occasion or our own experience.

"Obviously I'm not a seamstress, I just know how to work a sewing machine. So you don't have to have a real talent, just if you see a need, step up and fill that need," she added.

Each mask takes about 15 minutes to make, and she makes about 20 a day. On her weekends, she works to make more than 60 in that free time.