Maids sew masks to show appreciation to their employers
Her employers had said they found the reusable face masks that were distributed to Singapore residents uncomfortable.
So when the Centre for Domestic Employees mailed a mask pack to Filipino maid Milagros Bangkiat two weeks ago, she sprang into action and sewed two masks for Madam Yoo Leng Choo, 76, and her 86-year-old husband.
She received one of more than 800 mask packs from the centre, which had distributed them to its volunteers under the People's Association's Masks Sewn With Love initiative.
Each mask pack contains two reusable masks, four filters, and two sets of pre-cut materials to sew adult-size masks.
Ms Bangkiat, 57, told The New Paper: "I was glad to receive it. I didn't know that extra cloth was provided. My boss and I talked about sewing our own masks before, but we couldn't buy the materials because the shops were all closed."
After looking up YouTube videos on sewing masks by hand, Ms Bangkiat sewed the masks for the elderly couple in her room at night because she wanted to surprise them.
She said: "They really liked the masks and said they fit better. I felt happy that I could do something nice for them."
Ms Bangkiat has worked for the retired couple ever since she arrived in Singapore 35 years ago.
Madam Yoo said: "She is like a god-daughter to me. She has followed us on overseas trips and moved house thrice with us. She looked after my son when he was a toddler and now he is in his 30s."
Another Filipino maid, Ms Rhealyn Nudalo, might have started working for an expat family just over two months ago, but she was determined to show her appreciation for their hospitality and sewed two masks for them.
The 33-year-old, who has worked in Singapore for nine years, said: "I thought about sewing a couple of masks to thank them. I had just transferred over and thought it would be hard because it is a new household and a new environment.
"But it was easy and fun in the end, and my employers helped me adjust quickly."
Her German employer, Ms Elisa Meurzec, 37, said: "We thought it was a really nice gesture because it must have been tedious for her without a machine.
"Having three kids and working from home can get quite stressful, but Lyn has taken great care of them and she has been really supportive."