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Knox County crafters make free mask "ear savers" to help healthcare workers

An acrylic gadget helps remove the strain of chafing and soreness from behind the ears.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Local crafters are using their hobbies to aid healthcare workers during the pandemic by creating small mask "ear savers."

The gadget helps remove the strain of chafing and soreness from behind the ears.

For Heather Bridget, her love of crafting has turned from a hobby and business to a way of helping those on the front lines during the worldwide health crisis.

"It's probably really, really tough for them right now and we're just really appreciative about it," Bridget said.

She's making acrylic "ear savers" for healthcare workers who have to wear face masks on a daily basis. The small "S" hooks onto a face mask's ear loops and fastens them behind the head to avoid ear soreness and chafing.

"It might make them feel less in pain, you know, with their ears at the end of the day," Bridget explained.

She saw the idea in an online crafting group. She had leftover acrylic from a previous project and decided to join the hundreds of other crafters coming together across the country.

"A lot of us in the group who had extra materials started making them and donating them to hospitals or anyone you know, working on the front lines who have to wear a mask all day," Bridget nodded.

She's offering the "ear savers" to healthcare workers completely free of charge. She posted on Facebook, telling others about the project, offering to ship or leave them on her porch for pickup in Karns.

I can't keep track of all Facebook notifications, please send me a message with what you need and when you want to pick them up** I'm making these ear savers out of the scrap acrylic I have. They...

"I just don't think that people need to be charged for something that, you know, is so simple, so cheap and is really gonna help people," Bridget said.

She has made about 200 so far and is planning on getting more materials to help those who help others. She encouraged people to message her on Facebook to arrange for a pickup or ship. She is also accepting donations for materials.

"Everybody needs help right now in one way or another," Bridget encouraged. "Just try to do what you can."

Bridget urged other crafters to pitch in. She said there are free downloadable files online to use as templates for the ear savers. 

If you would like to purchase from Bridget's online Etsy shop, visit etsy.com/shop/homeandoccasions.

RELATED: Want to help out? UT Medical Center is now accepting donations for a variety of supplies