Hometown Hero | Gretchen Hensley

Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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They say not all heroes wear masks, but we're living in a time when many of them do.

When one woman was forced to close her business because of the COVID-19 crisis, she found a way to keep busy while helping those on the front lines of the pandemic.

Like thousands of small business owners, hairdresser Gretchen Hensley was forced to close her salon and spa in Williamson as the country tries to keep the virus contained.

"It's hard because I've worked my whole life," Hensley said. "I've never not worked."

For the first time in her adult life, she found herself with nothing to do.

"There's only so much TV you can watch," she said.

Knowing masks for healthcare workers are in high demand, she decided she could do something to help.

"I've always had a sewing machine," she said. "I have all kinds of clients who are nurses and work in the healthcare field."

Hensley got a bunch of elastic and fabric and started watching YouTube videos on how to construct masks.

"I was just like, I'm going to be stuck in the house for I don't know how long, so I just started sewing," she said.

Word spread about the good work Hensley was doing, and people started donating money for materials for her.

She's delivered close to 500 masks to health care workers in the area.

"It's made me feel good knowing I've helped out," she said.

Her efforts to help the heroes on the front lines have made her this week's WSAZ Hometown Hero.