Staff Report

Dunn Middle School student Kadence Freed spent her summer making 350 masks with “SBC Fire” printed in blue for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. She also made about 50 masks for the Type 3 Incident Management Team.  

Recently when Kadence delivered the masks, Santa Barbara County Fire Medic Engine 31 thanked Kadence in person, with physical distancing protocol in place, for “a job well done.” 

Kadence made her mask project a family affair, enlisting her mother to help with the pinning and her younger brother to help cut elastic bands. She also enlisted the support of Dunn Middle School Office Manager Allie Andersen’s husband, Ken Andersen, of Nielsen Building Materials in Solvang. 

At first Kadence started making masks for the Nielsen Building Materials store to give to the public in exchange for a donation to cover the materials. The masks went quickly.

Then, Matt Farris, a County Fire division chief, told his friend Ken Andersen that someone had asked that the more than 300 fire personnel wear masks with the fire department’s name on them. 

So Nielsen Building Materials bought the fabric and elastic and used its silk screener to print “SBC Fire” on the fabric. Then they sent the lot to Kadence Freed for completion.

It took Kadence a few months to finish the masks. She learned to sew around age 9 when she attended a quilting camp at the Creation Station in Buellton, where she’s continued to take classes. Since then, she’s sewn seven quilts and made some of her own clothes.