The coronavirus crisis has led to a staggering shortage of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses across the world—meaning the men and women who are on the front lines against the disease are putting their own health at risk.

Among the most desperately needed items is face masks, and a former NICU family are among the many Americans stepping up with a DIY solution.

When she heard about the dwindling supply of masks facing hospitals, Georgia mom Kristy Rae Carnaghi wanted to help. "A friend of mine is a seamstress and is making them for her friends that are nurses," she said. When Carnaghi joined the effort, her 5-year-old son Christian wanted to get involved, too, saying he wanted to help the nurses protecting everyone from the virus.

"So we gathered the material and elastic from people in our neighborhood and wanted to do them for the NICU nurses since they have helped both of us so much," Carnaghi tells Motherly.

Courtesy: Kristy Rae Carnaghi

Carnaghi posted in a Facebook group to see if any health care workers could use their homemade masks, and the response was immediate. A neighbor who is also a NICU nurse said she was interested, and took a mask to work. "She says the nurses there love them and have requested more," Carnaghi said. "So we are busy cutting and sewing today. My company is losing business to this so I'm home with a lot of time on my hands."

The masks aren't medical-grade, according to TODAY, meaning they don't protect against coronavirus—but they do provide a bright, cheerful cover that can extend the life of the disposable surgical masks and inserts that some nurses are being forced to reuse as N95 masks are in such short supply.

Courtesy: Kristy Rae Carnaghi

Carnaghi says the effort is going at a 5-year-old's pace, but she's been so impressed with Christian's desire to help others. "My son is an amazing kid. This is keeping us busy and making our hearts happy and each one is made with love from a NICU baby." It's also providing him with some great lessons while he's unable to go to school. Carnaghi says Christian is drawing, measuring and cutting the mask covers right alongside her.

But the most important lesson of all that he's learning right now is about giving back to the people who are risking everything to keep us safe.

Thank you Christian! You're doing a great job!