NC virtual sewing, donation project delivers 30K masks to frontline workers
Posted April 29, 2020 2:00 p.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2020 2:34 p.m. EDT
Natasha Donnelly was working as a nurse in the Triangle when she noticed the lack of protective equipment nurses and doctors had when fighting off the coronavirus. She decided to do something about it.
Donnelly is the founder of the organization Trauma Focused Therapeutic Community Gardens. The mission of the nonprofit has nothing to do with protective equipment, but it didn't matter. Her and the others at TFTCG decided they were going to refocus their goals, and figure out a way to get masks to North Carolinians on the front lines.
Now, the project Masks for Heroes has delivered over 30,000 masks to frontline workers across North Carolina and even in states like New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The project is a virtual one, with a website and Facebook group.
People who knew how to sew masks jumped in right away to help with the project, but some people learned.
"Some volunteers bought a machine just for this project," spokeswoman for Masks for Heroes, Anna Campbell, said.
On top of the 30,000 masks, the organization is making even more machine-washable masks.
The biggest need is supplies. Campbell said there is a shortage of materials like elastic and cotton. Volunteers sewing are finding ways to make ties for masks that don't need elastic because of that shortage.
There's also a shortage of colors, as military and police personnel need black and dark blue for their jobs, Campbell said.
Locally, Masks for Heroes has donated to medical centers across the Triangle, Wake County Meals on Wheels and the juvenile centers in the county. They even found a bus driver who was delivering meals to students who didn't have a mask and made him one.
If you want to donate, Campbell said to donate 100% cotton materials and ¼-inch elastic.