Smith busy at his sewing machine in his Spencer home

SPENCER, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — A Spencer man has produced more than 1,000 face masks for people in six states from his basement workshop.

Smith learned to sew as a kid and put that skill, along with a background in healthcare, to good use when it became apparent West Virginia had a mask shortage.

He has made 1,100 in his basement. He figured correctly that everyone would be wearing them.

"I'm retired from the medical field and I understand the importance, even when people were saying not to wear a mask, I knew it,” he said. “People in the medical field knew it. The masks were necessary and that’s when I actually started. When they came out on the news saying ‘you don’t really need to wear a mask, it’s probably not necessary,’ I knew it was necessary so rather than going out and buying masks that were needed for the medical field, I just made some of my own"

Just a few of over 1,000 masks made by Smith

Smith believes masks are critical to getting through the pandemic. In fact, some of the masks he made ended up going out of state. Others ended up closer to home, with many going to tenants at the Housing Authority of Spencer.

At one point, Smith even stood outside the Spencer Walmart and passed out 100 masks to unmasked shoppers.