This may be the most important challenge we’ve ever taken on. Are you ready?
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a shortage of masks & personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, nurses, & other health care professionals. We want to help protect these dedicated and brave individuals on the front lines working so hard to take care of our communities by providing them with at least 1,000 face masks & face shields.
THE GOAL: Help us provide as many masks, face shields, & other PPE to medical professionals as we possibly can. We challenge you to do 2 things:
THE RULES: Please follow all pandemic guidelines on social distancing, etc. including but not limited to:
Identify a hospital or facility that can accept handmade face masks, then sew masks according to their needs. Use internet resources first & avoid calling if you can, but make sure what you’re making will be acceptable to the facility.
We’re partnering with our friends at Front Line Masks to create and provide innovative, handmade, filtered masks to health care workers.
Use their open-source design to make masks with filters for essential workers in your community. But take special care to read ALL the instructions thoroughly and pay special attention to the guidelines and cautions, especially about filtration materials to use, before you proceed. And while it should go without saying, please use only NEW filtration and cotton materials. Remember, someone will be trusting their respiratory system to the materials you use.
If you would like to participate in this effort and live in the NW Washington area, Frontline Masks is providing kits in your area. Go here to find out more. PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE KITS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE WHATCOM COUNTY AREA, and must be returned to Front Line masks, who will provide the filter inserts & deliver to local-area essential workers — you’ll only need to make the sewn cotton masks.
HOW TO MAKE CLOTH FACE MASKS
They don’t have to be cute. They just have to work & be free of holes, frayed edges, missed seams or loose threads. There are many tutorials & patterns on the internet, but please make sure the pattern you choose is one that can be used OVER an n95 mask (or its equivalent in your country), so it can be used by those interacting with COVID-19 patients. The goal is to protect health care workers’ lives, so keep that in mind. Here are a few tutorials to help you out:
Count the quantity of masks and/or face shields you created, then identify a location near you that can accept them & donate. Please avoid calling hospitals if possible. Instead, use resources on the internet to help you find locations accepting handmade masks. Here are a couple to get you started:
BONUS CHALLENGE: IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ANY PPE (new/unused n95 masks, face shields, surgical masks, gowns, latex or nitrile gloves, etc), please tabulate that and also include them in your donation if your location can accept them, or find a location that can.
Good luck, Gishers… and thank you for your service.