Local business owners and seamstresses team up to create masks for healthcare workers
–Local business owner, Cynthia Mann saw a need for the masks locally and immediately put her employees to work donating their time and fabric to the cause. Birch Fabrics has donated fabric, created template instructions and donated employee time to help with the creation of masks for local healthcare providers in the wake of COVID-19 demand.
Their customer base is made up of sewers and those customers are also getting behind the cause with mask creation. “This truly has been an amazing outpouring of collaboration and support from our clients and our community,” said Mann. “The fact that we’re truly making a difference here locally and nationally for the fight against COVID-19 is an amazing feeling for all of us.”
Ellie Kelley, who is the owner of The Breast Vest and the mother of two small children, is not only sewing 100-plus masks from home but also is making and coordinating with home sewers on this project. “We currently have 6-10 crafters sewing up to 200 masks each and the number and demand is growing as this pandemic continues to worsen.” The crafters in our local area currently reside in Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Paso Robles. Birch Fabrics has already donated over 100 yards of fabric and the demand will continue to grow for donations.
Eighty-percent of everything they’re producing will be kept locally for hospitals and supporting industries that relate to the care of these patients. “An assistant director at Twin Cities has reached out to us with a request for masks. It’s not just doctors and nurses on the front line that we’re helping support. We’re making masks for respiratory therapists, homebirth midwives, physical therapists, housekeepers, phlebotomists, cooks, administration and more,” said Mann.
They are in coordination with a Facebook group called “Sew the Curve Flat” that is providing resources for sewers and facilities that need them. The NYC hospitals and facilities that were identified in need of mask donations are: Ontario ARC, Institute of Applied Human Dynamics, Montefiore Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Our New York efforts are coordinated by Mariana of the Wicked Finch Farm in Pawling, NY.” Wickedfinchfarm.com.
Anyone can get involved and help. A free pattern is posted on the Birch Fabric website: http://blog.fabricworm.com/2020/03/fabric-face-mask-sewing-pattern.html
The public is invited to make a donation to help fund the fabric donation. The owner’s contact is Cynthia Mann of Birch Fabrics at (415) 309-1901.
Those who would like to donate time to sew masks can reach Ellie Kelley, Owner of The Breast Vest who is coordinating the sewers at (805) 674-1307.
More information and resources available here: https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask/Mask-Donations?all=true
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- San Luis Obispo County COVID-19 website – readyslo.org