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Loved one of Austin bombing victim sews masks for locals in need

Nearly two years after he lost a loved one to tragedy, Norell Waynewood is helping protect the community from COVID-19.

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas man is making sure those who want cloth masks have them, whether they can pay for them or not.

Norell Waynewood takes orders on Facebook and through word of mouth. And in a way, this new venture is honoring a loved one he lost more than two years ago.

Waynewood can sew anywhere, whether it's at the Texas State Capitol or inside his car. The 44-year-old's new mission comes from his passion.

"I love to sew and making clothes," he said.

That's how the Pull Up Tour started, because he just pulls up and starts sewing masks.

"I do whatever people need," he told KVUE.

Waynewood’s pink shirt reads, "I'll help."

It’s a compassion project he started after his younger brother, Anthony Stephan House, was killed in a series of package bombings in Austin in 2018. Seventeen-year-old Draylen Mason was also killed. Five others were injured.

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Although House wasn't his biological brother, Waynewood said the two were best friends and the House family took him in. That was more than three decades ago.

He misses him so much, it's hard for him to put into words.

"I don't know if there's a way to quantify it," he said. "I don't know if there is a scale I can put it on or I can spread my hands out this much, like, I don't know if I can answer that."

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Waynewood said it's also hard to see his loved ones still hurting.

"Just not having that and seeing Mom and knowing that she's not the same, will never be the same, you too broken or hurting still and there's nothing I can do about it. Really frustrating like this to see everybody hurting and there's nothing I can do. I can't show them. I can't console them. I mean, I can be there for him as much as possible, but there's only so much that I can do."

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Waynewood said he has lost so many loved ones he cannot spend his time thinking of the past. It's too painful. There is still so much to do, like making masks for those who want it and donating to those who can't afford it.

He plans to make and sell his masks at the State Capitol again on Sunday on the south steps at 1 p.m.­­

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