How the Colorado Rockies face mask project began and flourished

UNSPECIFIED, GERMANY - APRIL 22: In this combination of nine separate images shot over the last few weeks people wearing home-made protective face masks are seen in Berlin, Leipzig and Bitterfeld during the novel coronavirus crisis on April 22, 2020 in Unspecified, Germany. Germany is taking its first steps to ease restrictions on public life that had been imposed weeks ago in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Shops across the country are reopening, factory assembly lines are restarting and high schools are holding final exams. Health leaders are monitoring the process carefully for any resurgence of coronavirus infections. The number of infections nationwide is still rising, though so far at a declining rate. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, GERMANY - APRIL 22: In this combination of nine separate images shot over the last few weeks people wearing home-made protective face masks are seen in Berlin, Leipzig and Bitterfeld during the novel coronavirus crisis on April 22, 2020 in Unspecified, Germany. Germany is taking its first steps to ease restrictions on public life that had been imposed weeks ago in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Shops across the country are reopening, factory assembly lines are restarting and high schools are holding final exams. Health leaders are monitoring the process carefully for any resurgence of coronavirus infections. The number of infections nationwide is still rising, though so far at a declining rate. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – APRIL 02: Ian Desmond #20 of the Colorado Rockies signs autographs for fans before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 02, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – APRIL 02: Ian Desmond #20 of the Colorado Rockies signs autographs for fans before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 02, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Then, they created some masks for the rest of their family, friends, social media acquaintances, and neighbors.

"“We tried to match cotton fabrics to people’s style, colors or interests,” said Martinez via email. “About the same time, [Colorado Governor Jared] Polis mandated the use of face coverings in public. We had so many requests for [designs of] sports teams that we ran out of licensed fabric quickly. Hobby stores were closed due to COVID, online sold out quickly and very little mask-making supplies were in stock in those stores that remained open.”"

Martinez said that she @’d the Rockies, Broncos, Avs, and Nuggets on her Twitter in a post a few weeks ago.

"“People started sharing pics on Twitter of masks we had made and given them,” said Martinez. “Anybody who needed one or knew someone who needed masks started reaching out to us. We added their names to our lists. I even randomly met a few people in a store line that we were able to provide masks for. We snail mailed and shipped the masks via UPS.  We did no-contact deliveries and people here in town picked them up from our porches."

Julian Valentin reached out to her via Twitter DM with the idea of using some of the promo jerseys for masks. Most of them were returned to the Rockies but a small batch was kept for some local non-profits in the southern Colorado area on behalf of the Colorado Rockies.

The social media outreach

Martinez explained that they have had “countless positive responses across social media” for her and her family.

"“[It m]akes us realize just how many people want to wear masks to protect themselves and those around them…” said Martinez. “We are blessed to have been a part of this amazing team effort.  We thank the Rockies for choosing our family.”"

Since there has been more of a demand, Martinez said that they now have four people working on the masks, including her, her mother, her sister, Vanessa, and her 12-year old son, Braden. Her sister, Karen, is helping us from Seattle by finding filter material and online ordering.

Total, they have made “well over 400 masks” and they are still getting requests daily but despite spending the countless hours making the masks, she says that “[a]ll credit goes to Julian and his staffers. He has found a silver lining during these difficult times.”

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