Sharon Flock arises each day at 5 a.m., sits down at her sewing machine and starts working. About 11 p.m., she turns off her machine and goes to bed.
This is a routine she’s repeated many times, all to make masks that she simply gives away to those in need.
The Beaverton resident gets emotional when talking about the opportunity to help so many people and organizations with the 1,300 masks she has made.
It started with some bolts of car-themed material Flock intended to use for a fundraiser as part of the Bridge City Corvette Club she and her husband Steve belong to. When the fundraiser was canceled this spring due to government restrictions on social gatherings, Flock searched for a way to use the material she had bought.
When she saw her good friend making masks, she believed she could do it as well.
“I have donated 85 to 90 percent of the masks I’ve made,” she says, “basically anyone that’s been in need.” Even her beloved dog Sadie has tried on a mask.
She’s handed them out from her garage; given them to employees at banks, grocery stores, the acupuncturist, pet hospitals, Jewish center and foster care homes; mailed them to acquaintances out of state, and even drove to Federal Way, Washington and back just to donate 60 masks to employees at a Grocery Outlet.
“I have been so busy,” Flock says. “My sewing machine is 26 years old. I’m afraid if I turn it off it will blow up.”
She doesn’t do the service for recognition. Rather, she’s always been one to see someone in need and step up. She cries easily as she talks about the opportunities she’s had over the years to help others, and the kind thank you notes she has received because of it.
“People have been so sweet,” Flock says. “It just makes you want to reach out and help others who are in need. I’ve always been more of a giving person than a taker. I enjoy doing things for people. If people need help, I’m there to help them. It’s just how I’ve always been. It’s just me.”
But she’s also quick to laugh and express joy at all that she’s able to do.
Like the opportunity to give the masks to a young girl and her pet goat. Or the time she gave a little boy a mask at a Dairy Queen.
She was on an outing with the car club when the group stopped for a treat. Flock was waiting outside and was approached by a father with a 5-year-old son. The father asked if she was selling masks and Flock explained that she was only taking donations.
“The little boy had a sad look on his face,” she says. “So, I asked him if he’d like one that had a ‘Star Wars’ print on it. He nodded his head and I handed it to him. The little boy said to me, ‘I don’t have the virus, can I give you a hug? I said, ‘Of course,’ and he gave me a hug. They walked away but came back later and the boy gave Flock $1 for the mask.
“He told me, ‘You’ve worked very hard. I want you to have this,’ as he handed me the dollar. I gave him a hug back. It was the sweetest darn thing and I’ll never forget it.”
Flock is a hair stylist and owned a salon for many years. She’s artistic, creative and sewed clothes for herself and her children. She’s also done catering. At home, she worked out a deal with her husband — she does the cooking and he does the dishes. She does the laundry and he does the ironing.
They took some time off to visit Lake Tahoe in late June, but Flock planned to take some extra masks with her in case she found someone who needed one.
“I’ve really been enjoying this,” she says. “It’s kept me busy — even if my right foot is sore from stepping on the sewing pedal for so many hours.”