BELOIT—Not all heroes wear capes.

10-year-old Aldrich Intermediate student SaMera Richardson is spending her time at home during the coronavirus/COVID-19 disruption learning to sew and make face masks that she donated to the Beloit Fire Department.

“My mom used to be a first responder and I like how they always help people no matter what’s going on,” she said. “They care for us so we should always care for them.”

Richardson said the masks only take 10 minutes to make.

“I use Disney characters and other cartoon characters because that makes everyone smile,” Richardson said. “I like to design clothes and have my own style.”

Interim Beloit Fire Chief Daniel Pease said the department donated the masks to other community members due to the strict federal guidelines for personal protective equipment for first responders. They require N95 surgical masks or similar equipment.

“We applaud SaMera for thinking about the first responders in Beloit and giving of her time and resources to make masks,” Pease said. “We appreciate the support and love shown by this gift; it truly makes us Beloit Proud. We will find a way to get these masks donated by SaMera into hands of other workers in the community who will benefit from this added protection.”

Sarah LaMaster, a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Aldrich, said she was proud of Richardson’s drive to help others.

“She has taken a difficult time and made something really positive out of it,” LaMaster said. “Instead of sitting around doing nothing, she took it upon herself to learn to sew, figure out what materials she needs, make a plan and do something that betters herself and others. As her teacher, it has been amazing to watch.”

Other Rock County first responders are also receiving mask donations. The Rock County Sheriff’s Office posted a picture on March 28 of an anonymous homemade surgical mask donation.