Staying Safe Doing Good: Making Masks for the Homeless

Mary Nurre
Mary Nurre

One of our favorite people, Mary Nurre, who our readers may remember from our article about her open water swimming stardom at age 67, is impressing us again with her latest project during quarantine- making masks for our most vulnerable.

Harmony House homeless shelter
Harmony House Downtown Houston Homeless Shelter

Mary volunteers with the downtown Houston homeless charity, Harmony House shelter that provides shelter for 103 homeless men and women. Once lockdown orders began she was approached by them with a pleas to help provide masks for the residents there. “As you can imagine, an outbreak at a shelter for the homeless is not only potentially deadly to the residents but a threat to the community at large. I realized with old t-shirts I had laying around the house, I could fashion a mask that would at least help mitigate some of the risk,” says Mary.


Mary learned that she could create a strap by cutting it from a knit t-shirt and then stitch a fabric square that could adequately cover a persons nose and mouth.

“After all this is over it can double as a bikini top!” jokes Mary. “After my first delivery of the masks I got a request to create 72 more for the shelter’s staff, residents and for handing out to whomever stops by the shelter that needs one. I was born for service to others. I stopped working at 64 and these past three years have given me so many opportunities to help others in big and small ways. Volunteering is my calling. I am continuing to pray this pandemic ends soon but I remain committed to creating the masks to help others and support Texas wineries by drinking Texas wine while I work every night!”

We love Mary. If you want to learn how to make your own masks out of t-shirts simply follow these instructions and offer them to the homeless shelter of your choice!

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