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Student makes, donates masks

Six-year-old Isabella Alton has made and donated dozens of masks to nursing homes and law enforcement agencies to help protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

Social distancing may be keeping individuals apart, but stories of ordinary citizens reaching out to help their neighbors keep us together, no matter our age.

This includes Isabella Alton a 6-year-old Rock Creek Elementary student who is doing everything she can to help others during this pandemic.

According to her mother, Janie Alton, Isabella or “Izzy” decided to make masks as a way to help.

“Izzy had the idea to make masks for the elderly when she was helping her grandmother do Meals on Wheels and saw an older lady cover her mouth with her hand and wanted to help her feel safer when receiving items,” Janie said. “It makes my heart happy.”

For Izzy, the idea of helping others came naturally.

“I thought about how else we could help our community through this time and thought of trying to protect the people who protect us and how often they come into contact with people,” Izzy said. 

Izzy has donated more than 75 cloth masks for local nursing homes and law enforcement agencies in the past two weeks.

According to Izzy’s parents, this is typical behavior for their daughter and they couldn’t be more proud.

“I’m extremely proud of Izzy and how she has helped people in this dark time. I hope to continue to help her in any way she wants to help others,” Janie said. “Izzy has always wanted to help people and she is finding her own way to do it now.”

Izzy’s father agrees.

“I’m a proud father, Izzy has always been kind-hearted and always looking to help someone when she can,” Reed Alton said.

For Izzy, helping with masks helps fill the void of not being able to go to school.

“Missing school makes me sad because I don’t get to see my friends; however, I have been participating in Zoom meetings and got to see my friends and teacher,” Izzy said. “I miss my friends, but I get to spend a lot of time with grandparents and get to help in their garden.”

Izzy’s grandmother said she is excited to see how Izzy continues to help others.

“We are proud of the caring and kind heart that Izzy has for others,” grandmother Leslie Slagle said. “She looks often for ways she can help others.”

According to Janie, for Izzy, who competes in beauty pageants, helping make and distribute masks to those in need aligns perfectly with her platform.

“Izzy’s platform is called Socks for Seniors where she donates non-skid socks to seniors in nursing homes and goes to nursing homes and spends time with the residents. She had donated food on several occasions to Haven of Mercy,” Janie said.

Izzy’s pageant coach, Tiffany Porter, said she is blown away my Izzy’s efforts.

“I’m very proud of how hard Izzy has worked this year and how she has adapted to this time and is still helping others,” Porter said. “She hopes to compete at Amerifest State and the national pageants again this year to continue her journey.”

To learn more about Izzy’s cause, you can follow her on Facebook at Petite Miss U.S. Izzy is always accepting donations of socks for her platform.