Willie Nelson signed masks will be auctioned off Saturday to make more for those in need

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Facemasks autographed by Willie Nelson will be auctioned to raise money to make more (John and Tanya Boike Photo)

HOUSTON (KXAN) — One woman’s effort to help provide masks for her community has ballooned into an effort recognized by singer and Texas Native Willie Nelson, who has literally signed on to help.

Nelson autographed a number of the woman’s handmade masks that will be auctioned off to raise money for more masks for the community.

The effort started with one woman: Tanya Boike.

At the end of March, she found herself wanting to help others as news of the global coronavirus pandemic poured in and new cases were announced each day in Texas.

She has Systemic Lupus, which puts her at higher risk for the virus, so she started to think about how she could help from home, according to the auction site. When Joann Fabric released simple instructions on how to make masks, she bought fabric, a sewing machine and thread and got to work with the help of her husband, John.

Some masks first went to family and friends, but Boike says most were for first responders, healthcare professionals, daycare providers, firefighters and other essential workers.

Then, Willie Nelson stepped into the picture.

“Very recently, Willie Nelson and his wife Annie heard about us, from our good friend Noelle (Willie’s Granddaughter) and he offered to autograph two special masks that we’ve made from a bandana that Tanya just got at Willie’s March 4th performance at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; which many of you know closed early this year due to COVID-19,” the Boikes wrote on the auction page.

Boikes says 100% of proceeds from Saturday’s auction will go toward providing more masks to people who need them. The starting bid is listed at $200.

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