Giving back

Tessa and Donna Hertel pose for a picture after making hundreds of masks for the local community.  

Dawn Rye | Writer

The saying goes, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Many people give for various reasons — it makes them happy, it evokes gratitude and promotes social connection. For one local family to take unwanted material and make masks during the pandemic was their way of giving back.

Tessa and Donna Hertel started making masks at the beginning of March when the national pandemic was going on. 

Tessa explained that the duo was going through a closet one day and found tons of material that her grandma Donna didn’t want. She said they heard on the news that many places needed cloth masks, so they took the material and starting sewing. 

“I have always been told if you receive, then you need to give back. When I was sick and going through my liver transplant, my community was there for me and now it was my turn to pay it forward and give back to my community,” commented Tessa. 

Tessa noted she posted on Facebook that she and her grandma had started making masks. From that moment on the requests began to roll in. She explained they never charged for the masks and roughly made around 300 cloth masks. Tessa said they used cotton fabric, ponytails for the ear straps to make them durable to wash and reuse. She noted they also donated 40 masks to Lifescape in Sioux Falls, dentist offices and many other places that needed masks. 

She noted she remembers that she and her grandma were up till 1 a.m. cutting and sewing because people needed masks for work the following day. Tessa said her mom, Jane Hertel, did a lot of the delivery since the duo was quarantined. Tessa explained that Donna’s health issue was because of her age and most people that know her know due to her immunosuppressed anti-rejection meds she takes for her liver. 

She said they would continue to make masks and use the unwanted material in her grandma’s closet. 

Tessa explained the most challenging part was keeping on top of the request and her first attempt at making a mask took her two hours. She said now it takes her about five minutes to make a mask. 

During the process, Tessa enjoyed spending time with her grandma. Tessa said her grandma loves to sew and to have the chance to learn all her tricks was neat. 

“We also ended up making a parody of the song “Driving my life away” by Eddie Rabbitt and we changed the lyrics and made up “Sewing My Life Away” by Tessa and Donna Hertel. 

She continued, “That song video was a lot of fun to make with grandma and memories I will cherish forever.”

Comments are closed.

  • Parker Fire Department responds to vehicle fire

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    Around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, the Parker Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the parking lot at […]


    Luke retires after 40 years of service

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    Employee raises discussed at commissioners meeting

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, a motion was made to elect Commissioner Mick Miller […]


    High school seniors in Parker search for scholarships

    January 14th, 2021
    by

    Julia Johnson | Staff Intern Heading towards the end of the semester, while most students were looking forward to Christmas […]


    Farm Bureau Financial Services opening in Parker

    January 7th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer Farm Bureau Financial Services makes insurance simple by offering a broad range of products and services. […]


  • Highway Department looks to purchase new equipment in 2021

    January 7th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, a motion was made for the highway department to […]


    Continuing to clean up the city of Parker

    January 7th, 2021
    by

    And the Emmy goes to…

    December 29th, 2020
    by

    Woman with local ties earns Emmy Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor For most, 2020 has not been “their” year. Between […]


    Truck totaled south of town

    December 29th, 2020
    by

    Giving back this holiday season

    December 23rd, 2020
    by

    The South Dakota Pork Producers took 28 cases of pork loins to the Turner County Food Pantry on Tuesday, Dec. […]


  • What’s Happening

    Lyle Willard Moege

    62 Hurley Wednesday, Jan. 6 Lyle Willard Moege was born on July 20, 1958 at Parkston to Willard and Florence […]

    Cavaliers slip past Parker

    Shane Merrill | Writer The Parker girls basketball team met up with Bon Homme last Tuesday night, but came away […]

    Pheasants storm past Bon Homme

    Shane Merrill | Sports The Parker boys basketball looked to keep their hot streak alive last Tuesday night, facing off […]