‘It just makes me happy’; 8-year-old El Paso girl makes ear savers for frontline workers

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — COVID-19 has taken its toll on frontline workers who are having to wear masks for the majority of the day. An eight-year-old El Paso girl, Isabella Villanueva, started a project that has benefitted more than a thousand people so far.

“My aunt works at Providence East and she sent my mom a picture of an ear saver and me and my and grandma started crocheting them and my grandma is the one that sews the buttons on and crochets some and me and my mom crochet some,” Villanueva said. “It’s very cool and it just makes me happy.”

Isabella has been spending her time making ear savers for those working on the frontlines.

“I have a ton of yarn right here I choose out of and when I get one and crochet one I do five from each yarn so they can be different colors,” Villanueva said.

The ear savers attach to a face mask to provide more comfort.

“I wanted to save people’s ears from the pain and I wanted to help the frontline workers survive the coronavirus as they’re helping us. You can wear it on top or bottom. We made them really stretchy so they can go around pony tails, especially for ER doctors who have to have their hair up and not loose,” Villanueva said.

So far Isabella has made over 1,200 ear savers and she’s doing it all free of charge, out of the kindness of her own heart.

“I give them to Walgreens, hospitals, fire stations, police departments, federal law enforcement, doctors and nurses,” Villanueva said.

Kathy Reyes-Brooks owns Move Therapy Services. She and her team received a donation of ear savers from Isabella.

“If I use one, it helps because it pulls the elastic away so it’s not touching my ears. If I connect them it’s even better because I can have the loop up over my ponytail so the mask doesn’t slip all day but there’s even a way to do it with her ear savers where they don’t have to touch your ears at all and it just kind of goes below the ears to the back of your neck and they stay in place,” Reyes-Brooks said. “The yarn they’re made out of, it doesn’t slip. So, it’s not sliding down on my hair and it stays put.”

Isabella said this is something she is going to continue to do. Reyes-Brooks said this is something keeping her hopes alive during such a stressful time.

“Instead of playing video games or just kind of hanging out and doing what young children do during summer, she is spending her time crocheting and making these for strangers and people she doesn’t know but she just wants to help make their work and their daily life a little bit better,” Reyes-Brooks said.

Isabella is currently working on ear savers for Central Fire Station B shift, where her dad used to work.