Hometown Heroes: Belchertown woman created face masks for thousands of people during pandemic

Hampshire County

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – In March of 2020, when the pandemic started to take over our lives, Lindsey Fierro of Belchertown lost her job but not her sense of hope. Lindsey went to work helping others by donating her time, her creativity and her heart.

“She made a lot of people happy. I’m so proud of her but that’s the person she is… she loves helping people.”

Dorothy Gustafson, Lindsey’s mother.

“Everyone needed masks and we couldn’t find them in the stores and I had a sewing machine that I got as a Christmas present a few years prior. I decided to pull it out and teach myself how to make masks by YouTube videos. My sister is in health care and I knew that there was a shortage of PPE and masks so I taught myself how to make masks and so I started making them all day long, when the kids went to bed, and donating them to anyone that needed them,” said Lindsey.

Thanks to social media, Lindsey’s masks were in high demand, “I was getting tons of messages, my Facebook was flooded. I was getting messages from as far away as South Carolina, I have family all over. The general public I posted it on the Belchertown Community forum and I would set up at Stop and Shop across the street and people would just come out and meet me. I would have their masks all bagged up with their name on it and I would be handing them out.”

When just about everyone she knew had a mask, she made over a thousand, she pivoted and started to help people sign up to get their vaccine.

“It started with my Mom. We were trying to help my mom get the vaccine. And you just couldn’t. You were on the state’s website and we’d be on it for hours, week after week, trying to get her an appointment and it was very user un-friendly and it was a lot. So I found out how to use the state website really well and I started being able to get these appointments. I would be scrolling and scrolling and refreshing my screen for hours and they would pop up. So I went through and did my entire family, I did friends, I did everyone at my job that wanted one and I kept seeing these messages on the Belchertown Forum. ‘Please help me, I’m so frustrated, I’m scared, I need a vaccine, I can’t get one.’ And I just reached out and said ‘I can help.’ and the messages just started pouring it. It was like a full time job, like hours and hours a day. I just felt like I needed to help these people. They were scared and they were frustrated,” said Lindsey.

By her own count, Lindsey says she helped over 700 people get their appointments including her Mom.

“I spent hours but I’m not fast enough and I got frustrated and it just seemed like there’s no way I’m ever going to do this. And then to have Lindsey come along and BANG, that morning I had my shot, and it was awesome. She was just really good at it,” said her mother Dorothy Gustafson

Another amazing Hometown Hero. You can watch the 19th annual Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration at 11 a.m. next Thursday morning June 24th, right here on 22News.

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