Organizations like Providence and FreeSewing Open Source Project are asking volunteers to create isolation masks to donate to the professionals.

By Nashia Baker
March 20, 2020

If you are looking for ways to give back during the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have good news for crafters: As the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to grow, organizations are asking craft-savvy volunteers to help protect the healthcare professionals regularly treating patients with COVID-19—and you can do your part from the comfort of your home. Providence—a health care provider—is asking volunteers to join in on its Million Mask Challenge; each crafter is being asked to sew at least 100 isolation masks for medical professionals.

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The first batch of donated masks will benefit the healthcare workers from the western Washington area, a region that was heavily-impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. As Providence keeps working to help those in that area, it will slowly start assisting other locations that are also in need of more masks.

Related: This Is Exactly How Long Coronavirus Lives on Surfaces

How do interested crafters get started? First, make sure you fit the criteria: Volunteers must have the ability to sew and a functioning sewing machine at their hone. Then, they will need to pick up a Million Mask Challenge kit from Providence St. Joseph Health in Renton, Washington, which will give you all of the supplies you will need to make the 100 masks. You can sign up on the Providence site if you are at least 18 years old to learn of new locations open to the cause and when sewing kits will become available for pickup in your area.

If you're not in Washington area, you can lend a hand right now with other organizations. The FreeSewing Open Source Project, based in the Netherlands, shared a free template for DIY masks and is encouraging makers to help, Forbes reports. Instructables also has a tutorial for a homemade cloth mask that can be distributed to healthcare workers.

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