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Non-profit organization produces reusable masks to help stop spread of COVID-19

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Sewing centers in Nepal and Kenya originally used to make sanitary kits to help keep adolescent girls in school, have been transformed by the non-profit organization “One Dollar For Life” to produce masks to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

Bay Area hospitals and other local non-profits will receive them when available.​

“We’ve gotten inquiries from Kaiser Santa Clara, Lucille Packard Hospital, Valley Medical, UCLA Medical, and places like that,” Founder Robert Freeman said. ​

Roberty Freeman is the founder and executive director of “One Dollar For Life.”​

His organization has an office in the South Bay.

At a news conference in San Jose Wednesday, he says once travel bans are lifted, some 1,000 masks will be imported to the United States for distribution to Bay Area medical staffers in need, including Coastal Kids Home Care, a nursing organization serving Santa Clara County.​

Brenda Birrell designed the washable masks, made of cotton.​

“To make it so that people would not get infected in hospitals, where they’re working, it has a layer in the middle, which is hypoallergenic cotton,” Birrell said. ​

“It costs about 30-cents to make in both Kenya, and in Nepal,” Freeman said.​

Freeman says the workers producing the masks are getting paid 50% more than their respective national average wages.​

He says local grants are paying for the masks to be made and shipped to the united states.​

That money will also pay to replace what it sent out, so that locals in the developing countries also receive masks.​

“These will be able to be used over and over again,” Birrell said. ​

‘One Dollar For Life’ says 9,000 masks have already been made and, that they are safe to use for at least three years.​

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