OPERATION: COVER OUR CAREGIVERS

MISSION ROUND 1 DEADLINE: 

MARCH 30, 2020 11:59 PM PST

This may be the most important challenge we’ve ever taken on. Are you ready?

YOUR MISSION: #COVEROURCAREGIVERS

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: 

  1. Use your crafting skills to construct homemade masks and/or homemade face shields.
  2. Donate them to local hospitals near you.

THE RULES: Please follow all pandemic guidelines on social distancing, etc. including but not limited to:

  1. BE HEALTHY. If you’re sick, think you may be becoming sick, or have been exposed to anyone who is or may be becoming sick, please DO NOT participate. Go rest & hydrate and get well.
  2. BE LEGAL. DO NOT violate any law or ordinance in your region to obtain supplies or deliver masks.
  3. BE SAFE. You are not permitted to put yourself or others at risk to complete this mission. STRICTLY ADHERE to all physical distancing, hand washing, and other safety protocols to stay healthy & safe! Disinfect everything before and after handling materials & please don’t touch your face.
  4. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT pic a picture of yourself wearing a mask you make, because once it’s worn, you can’t donate that one any longer as they must be new & unworn. Thanks.
PLEASE READ- IMPORTANT! Cloth masks are a stop-gap solution to help medical professionals extend the use of scarce respirators & are intended to be worn OVER their respirators.
CLOTH MASKS WORN ALONE, WITHOUT A n95 RESPIRATOR OR ITS EQUIVALENT, WILL NOT PROTECT YOU FROM CATCHING OR SPREADING CORONAVIRUS. Please make sure any recipient of your masks understands this critical difference.

STEP 1. MAKE FACE MASKS AND/OR FACE SHIELDS 

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.

HOW TO MAKE 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:

 MASK RULES:
  • They MUST be made of new, unused tight-weave 100% cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton). No polyester or blends, as that affects filtration. See here for more details.
  • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Make sure they are well made & free of holes, frayed edges, missed seams or loose threads.
  • To secure them, you can use strings to tie them or elastics. You can even use coated hair elastics (not rubber bands). Make sure you follow a pattern that fits your supplies so it will fit the caregiver.
  • Include a thin, flexible wire across the bridge of the nose — plastic-coated twist ties hold up well to laundering; pipe cleaners are another option. You can find more information on fabrication here.

HOW TO MAKE FACE SHIELDS

Create medical face shields out of marine-grade vinyl (HDPE), foam, & elastic.

The University of Wisconsin has also provided this in-depth guide to making face shields, but this is not the only method you may use.

Here is a tutorial on inexpensive face shields you can make. 

 STEP 2. DONATE

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.

STEP 3. SPREAD THE WORD

  1. Post a picture of your donation pile to social media tagged #CoverOurCaregivers. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT pic a picture of yourself wearing the mask you make, because once it’s worn, you can’t donate that one any longer as they must be new & unworn. Thanks.
  2. Enter your submission on this form to help us keep track of your impact
  3. Share the link to this page and get as many people as you can helping out

Good luck, Gishers… and thank you for your service. 

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PLAY FOR GOOD.