I can’t believe I even have to write a post for this. It feels like a bad dream, a sick joke, or a really scary movie. But here we are. Most of the world is under a global quarantine to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus. As a two time breast cancer survivor my fears are real. I’m immunocompromised and scared to death of getting it. Then I think about friends working tirelessly in hospitals around the world. Fighting for us. Fighting for patients who need them so much. Showing up every single day amongst fear to spread HOPE.
There’s that word again. Hope.
The past couple of days people began sharing links with me to organizations pleading for handmade face masks. As I’m typing this post, a great friend who is a firefighter in Rocklin, California texted me a picture of masks for them to use – MADE IN WUHAN, CHINA. The heck?!? No. Just no.
Craft Hope, it is time.
Get your sewing machines out. We are living in a global pandemic and we will not live a life of despair, but one of HOPE. We can do something. It’s time to make masks.
Masks that will protect people who have to leave their homes. Masks that will protect the elderly in nursing facilities. Masks that will protect ANYONE who needs them.
I’ve found a few patterns online – posted below. Feel free to improvise, but please use four layers of fabric for the best protection.
I am asking you to reach out to your community. Make phone calls, post on your social media channels, whatever you have to do to find out who needs them. Call the local nursing facilities, doctors offices, cancer centers, hospitals, the elderly, your friends, anyone. Find people and organizations locally who need your masks. This is the best and most efficient way to cover all of our bases and the globe.
I’m asking friends around the globe to participate in this GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION. Share this on your social media channels, let friends know we are sewing.
You have tons of time on your hands. Dust off that sewing machine and teach your kids to sew masks. The greatest gift right now. Other than social distancing it’s the best thing we can do to help.
As always, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of specific needs in areas and I’ll share them on facebook.
Use the hashtags #millionmaskchallenge #millionmaskmayday #crafthope when posting to social media! You can also find patterns when searching those hashtags.
The challenge is on.
The list below contains places that have specifically asked for masks. I’ll continue to update this list…
Sharon Hospital (Sharon). The only details I have right now are that the drop-off point for sewn masks is Cotton Candy Fabrics, 457 Federal Road, Brookfield, CT 06804 https://www.cottoncandyfabrics.com/ I have been told they would like The Turban Project pattern (see Indiana, video on the Deaconess pagte).
Phoebe Putney hospital in Albany, GA. If you want to help, they need volunteers to sew covers for N95 masks, (These are worn over the N95 masks, so that each person can reuse the same mask for aweek.) To participate, call volunteer services 229-312-4336. To give you an example of what’s going on, they burned through a 6-month supply in a record time of like 5 days, and only have a couple days worth left. https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/video/volunteers-stitch-masks-health-care-workers-69681106 for a video on their efforts
Deaconess Hospital (Evantston, IN which is nowhere near Chicago, sorry!!). Deaconess is welcoming home-sewn massks. They put together a resource page on how to make and donate masks. This one has an easy-to-follow video using a pattern from The Turban Project. They want 100% cotton masks–this has to do with sterilzation. Please note that this mask is not universally acceptable—you must find out what your facility wants–so call if you are going to make this one for your local facility. https://www.deaconess.com/masks A volunteer coordinator from Deaconess suggested these types of masks are always in demand for other uses too, such as for chemo patients receiving infusions.
Unity Point Health (Cedar Rapids). The request is for a very specific pattern; the full masks (which will include a filter) get assembled at the hospital. For more details, go here: https://www.unitypoint.org/cedarrapids/sewing-surgical-masks.aspx The specific pattern and instructions on where to deliver masks is on that page.
Burlington, MA (Boston area). The only information I have right now is this post: https://patch.com/massachusetts/burlington/coronavirus-lahey-hospital-seeks-volunteers-sew-masks
Henry Ford/Alliance. They have just made their own prototype, and will be looking for volunteers to make masks and face shields. Their model is quite different from the home-sewn ones. Here’s the video of their prototype: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/its-controlled-chaos-healthcare-workers-mask-supplies-dwindle-0 No further information is available at this time. If you’re in the area and want to help, I suggest you call their Henry Ford Allegiance Volunteer Services: (517) 205-4840.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock. This medical group sent out a call for N95 masks and gloves. I have an email in asking whether they would accept sewn masks, and will update when I know more.
Stillwater Medical Center. This is the message on their Facdebook page: “THESE MASKS WILL NOT BE USED FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS OR ANYONE DEALING WITH COVID-19 SITUATIONS. We are looking for seamstresses who can sew cloth masks to help with the nationwide shortage. They must be 4 layers of fabric for filtering. (Edited to add emphasis!) Here are some pictures of ones that have been made. They need to be adjustable. Our preferred pattern is from [link below] Spread the word to all seamstresses. Thanks so much. This is a perfect time to use up your fabric stash. The donated masks will be used in other NON CLINICAL OR WORRIED WELL PATIENTS NOT REALATED TO COVID-19. This will allow us to save our N95 masks & other PPE for Healthcare Workers. Donated masks can be dropped off at our Stillwater Medical Plaza building, located at 1201 S. Adams from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. All donations will be laundered before dispersing to our various areas where they are needed. “The pattern they want: https://buttoncounter.com/2018/01/14/facemask-a-picture-tutorial/
Providence Medical Group. There is currently no information on the Providence page about the 100 Million Mask Challenge. I requested information to publish here and will update as I am able. As of 3/20/20 9:30 am Providence has not released the details regarding what they want or where to send it. Stay tuned! https://blog.providence.org/blog-2/volunteers-making-homemade-masks-to-combat-shortages-caused-by-covid-19
Providence in RENTON, WA. Kits with enough materials to make 100 medical masks will be offered March 26 from 12-4 p.m. at Providence St. Joseph Health, located at 1801 Lind Ave. S.W. in Renton. BUT ACCORDING TO THE PROVIDENCE SITE THE KITS ARE ALL CLAIMED: https://www.providence.org/lp/100m-masks
Maryville Nursing Home. Their ask was for people to sew scrubs and masks. There are several ways to help. If you are NOT local, you can make the Deaconess pattern masks and mail them to: Maryville, 14645 SW Farmington Rd,, Beaverton, OR 97007. If you ARE local, they need help with the following projects: (1) people to cut fabric and N95 material to make mask kits for the seamstresses (this can be done at home–you pick up fabric and the patterns there, but work at home); (2) seamstresses to make the masks from the kits; (3) they are about to receive the polyester fabric they need to make their washable gowns and will soon need help assembling those kits and sewing the robes. Please contact mgarcia at maryville dot care if you are local and can help.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis). They need mask STRAPS for the kiddos. This is an entirely different project: https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/volunteer-at-the-hospital/how-to-become-a-volunteer/at-home-projects/mask-straps.html Please use soft flannel.
Wise Health System (Decatur). The Auxiliary is sewing masks, and they would LOVE for you to help. They require 100% cotton fabric, 2-ply masks with ROUND elastic (not flat). You can use the Turban Project pattern (above, see Indiana, Deaconess for a video) but use ROUND elastic. Once completed, please mail to:
Wise Health System
Attn: Customer and Patient Relations
609 Medical Center
Decatur, TX 76234
The Electric Needle. This shop in Madison is a drop-off point for a specific pattern, which can be used over an N95 mask (to prolong the life) or worn alone. These are going to Meriter Hospital. For more information and a link to the specific pattern they want: https://www.electric-needle.com/sew-for-a-cause.htm They are located at 4281 West Beltline Hwy, Madison, WI 53711
UW Madison Hospitals. They are currently working on a pattern. You can add yourself to the volunteer list by sending an email to email@example.com I will update as more information become available.