As the COVID-19 pandemic grows and panic buying soars, many healthcare professionals have been left without the proper PPE to guard themselves against the virus. The shortage of protective gear even prompted the CDC to recommend nurses use scarves and bandanas as a last resort. Nurses have been speaking out about these working conditions on social media, but the shortage grows more severe as COVID-19 cases increase.
Many companies have stepped up to fill the need – like Apple, which will donate 10 million N95 masks. But you don’t have to be a corporation to help provide masks for healthcare workers in need. Many individuals have begun crafting homemade masks to donate to their local healthcare centers. One Facebook group, Masks with a Mission, encourages volunteers to sew their own masks to donate. Page creator and registered nurse Andrea Hipolito (who works at Incredible Health) says she “created this page to help get face masks to our healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose is to connect volunteers willing to make home sewn face masks to donate them with nurses nationwide to distribute them to their co-workers.”
How to Make the Mask
Deaconess Health System has created a video and set of instructions on how to make a CDC-compliant fabric mask. You’ll need sewing supplies, cotton fabric, and rope or beading elastic. They recommend using a pattern created by The Turban Project, which includes a step-by-step guide on how to assemble the masks. Masks are laundered and sterilized upon collection.
How to Donate
To find an organization in need of masks, use the Deaconess Health System search tool, which allows you to enter your location and filter nearby centers. You’ll be provided with contact information to reach out directly and arrange your donation drop-off. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for delivery.
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