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AEP Texas employee in Pharr helping medical professionals during COVID-19 crisis

March 31, 2020

AEP Texas employee Carmen Morales Pharr Continuous Improvement Lead Carmen Morales is doing her part to help the fight to contain the COVID-19 virus, and her efforts are making an impact across the country. Morales, a Continuous Improvement Lead based in Pharr, sews facemasks and mails them from Edinburg to friends in other states that she met on Facebook.

Morales, a self-proclaimed avid crafter, connected with other crafters on social media. Some of them are medical professionals. They reached out to Morales for help.

“One of my Facebook friends is a nurse in Virginia,” Morales said. “She, like mostly all medical professionals working on the front lines treating patients with the Coronavirus, is experiencing the shortage of medical supplies and PPE firsthand.”

Morales said he friend asked her to sew some facemasks. Morales used a cotton fabric that she already had and used a pattern from another Facebook friend of hers who lives in Alabama.

“I sewed a few masks and I mailed them to her. I explained that this is not a protective mask – it was just cotton and interfacing. My nurse friend agreed, but she said she could use the mask with a filter to help protect her from the spread of the virus.

“Once she received the mask, her daughter – who is a respiratory therapist in South Carolina – asked for masks. I made some her masks, too. Then, another friend of mine who lives New York and suffers from an autoimmune deficiency, asked for masks, too,” she said.

Morales, who sews clothes for her dog in her spare time, said each mask takes about 30 minutes to make. She cuts the fabric, irons it, fuses interface, sews it and inserts a small wire to shape the mask around the bridge of the nose. Currently, her production has halted because she is waiting on a delivery of elastic. Like most items in stores, she is unable to find elastic for the mask loops, she said.

While the facemasks that she sews are not medical-rated protective masks, Morales says that they offer an extra layer of personal protection and safety – something she said is always a priority just like at AEP Texas.

“What the mask can do is prevent you placing your fingers or hands in your mouth or near your nose, which is one of the CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus,” she said.

 Morales said she feels good to be able to be able to help friends in need, especially so far away from her.

“My online friends are very grateful especially because masks are hard it find right now. I ship them myself and it is one less thing for them to do. They are worried about their patients and themselves. I am happy I can do it.

“Facebook really is something. If you are on Facebook – you are everywhere. And because I Facebook I am able to help my friends everywhere.”



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