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A pair of Girl Scout sisters supply Milpitas frontline workers with handmade masks

Volunteering is nothing new for the Nakka family — especially for Milpitas High School (MHS) freshman Avishkrita Nakka and her sister, Sinnott Elementary student Alankrita Nakka. When Milpitas Unified School District officials shuttered the city’s schools, the pair volunteered to pass out meals for students at the district’s front office, logging almost 40 hours of service.

So it’s no surprise the girls have now dove headlong into their next project: Sewing masks for Milpitas police officers and firefighters.

“We heard that people are running low on disposable masks, so we thought, ‘Why not make another option?’” said Alankrita.

Channeling their inner girl scouts, the sisters employed the family’s sewing machine and some scissors to cut out and make the masks. With a little help from the girls’ mother, Anu — who showed them how to sew pleats — and their father, who bought fabric online, the two set a goal: 1,000 reusable masks for frontline workers.

The masks, made of 100% cotton, feature the familiar blue color used for surgical masks. The girls have also gotten creative, using fabrics with intricate patterns and even a puppy-themed set of fabric.

““It is a fun project for us, and it taught us a lot on how to cut, stitch, and make masks,” the Nakku family wrote in an email.

But the girls are most proud of the impact they’ve made on those who need masks the most.

“We thought it would be a great way to give back to the community with doing as much as we can, especially with the time right now,” Alankrita said.

So far, the sisters have made over 250 masks for the Milpitas Police and Fire Departments, with the latest donation coming just this week. The pair also said they’ve made a step-by-step guide for people who wish to make their own masks.

“I can see they’re really grateful,” Avishkrita said of the police officers who received their masks.

The Nakkas usually make masks in batches of 100, and they’ve already given two batches to the police department. The girls admitted they didn’t have too much sewing experience before they began this project, but they said sewing has gotten a lot easier.

“It’s a 50-50 process between me and my sister and my parents,” said Avishkrita. “My mom helped us with the pleats, cutting and pinning. We realized that it’s actually not super hard.”

The Nakka sisters said they are working on their third batch of a hundred masks, which they plan on donating to the fire department in the coming weeks. 

If the girls have learned anything during this process, it’s the values of persevering and giving back, like so many of the frontline workers they’ve come in contact with.

Said Avishkrita, “You can do a lot more than you think.”

To view the Nakkas’ step-by-step guide on how to make masks for yourself, click here.

Lloyd Alaban
Lloyd Alaban
Lloyd Alaban is a reporter who has lived in Milpitas his entire life. He has a BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and an MS in Journalism & Mass Communications from San Jose State University. He has written for publications such as AsianWeek, realtor.com, Work+Money, SpareFoot, Uni Watch and San Jose Inside. Lloyd has covered numerous issues, including local businesses, protests, affordable housing policy, homelessness and city government. He is passionate about local news and its ability to shed light on underprivileged communities. In his spare time, he likes playing anything that has to do with trivia (especially watching Jeopardy!), running, drinking beer, reading, and playing with his Siberian Husky.


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