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News | March 27, 2020

USAREC spouse donates handmade masks to hospital workers

By Amanda Surmeier USAREC Public Affairs

Service for some means wearing a uniform, but this U.S. Army Recruiting Command spouse found herself turning to a sewing machine to answer her call.

Tessa Paszek, wife of Army recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Alex Paszek, saw a need for hospital masks for her nursing friends; and a desire to help out her inner circle quickly turned into hundreds of requests for handmade, washable face masks.

As hospitals across the country began seeing an influx of patients during the COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, Tessa Paszek’s friends mentioned their shortage of protective masks. Some of them had been using the same disposable mask for a week, using nothing more than disinfectant spray to keep them sanitary.

“I would never let my husband go into a battle without the equipment he needed,” she said. “So, I won’t let my friends either.”

Immediately, Tessa Paszek went digging through her craft bin, pulled out her sewing machine and got to work. Eventually, she posted her project on social media, offering to make masks for her friends in the field and for those immunocompromised.

Within 24 hours of posting the project on Facebook, Tessa Paszek received over 300 requests for the masks and asked for no more than the cost of supplies in return. Eventually, several of her friends joined in to offer their services as well through supply or monetary donations or their own sewing skills.

“It’s not a lot, but it’s what I can do from where I am,” she said.

Alex Paszek, who has been serving in the Army for nearly 16 years, is incredibly proud of his wife.

 “One of the traits I love most about her is her willingness to help others,” he said.

Originally a Bradley mechanic, Alex Paszek converted to a recruiter in October of 2015. The two have been together for nine years with five children and one on the way. Service to community has always been part of their life.

In between Tessa’s duties as a stay-at-home mom and Alex’s career in recruiting, the two still find time to serve their community and answer their call to serve every day, whether it’s volunteering at their church, coaching little league or helping wherever they see a need.

“Our time serving in the Army as a couple has geared our hearts to helping others and always striving to meet a need when and where we can,” Alex Paszek said.  




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