Volunteers make washable, reusable masks for health care workers

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A shortage of masks for health care workers has crafty volunteers across the nation taking matters into their own hands.

A retired home economics teacher in Arizona is now putting her sewing skills to work making masks for health care workers after getting a call last week.

“I got a begging call of dire need of a nurse in northern Pennsylvania who didn’t have masks. She said can you use scraps,” Peggy Mauro said.

She whipped out a pattern of a washable reusable mask that her husband showed off, which has a place for inserting a replaceable filter.

“My New York son ordered a gazillion he said of the HEPA vacuum cleaner bags and they could be cut up and inserted in that in the face mask,” Peggy said.

Her San Francisco based son has thrown together a website with the pattern so others can help out.

Meanwhile, Peggy has pivoted and is now working on making a washable cover to go over masks that health care workers have been issued, but have to reuse because of a shortage of supplies.

“They need a cover to protect them. Just touching them has germs so that you can rip it off,  wash it, and throw it in a bag and put another one on,” Peggy said.

She’s been working hard at her sewing machine and has family and friends trying to get someone to mass produce these masks and has launched a GoFundMe page to help fund the project.  

The same people helping her are also her motivation behind all this work.

“I have family in New York and family in California I’d like to see them again, it’s frightening,” Peggy said.

“Everyone likes this one is a little palm tree it’s really fun kind of stylish,” Deanna Perry-Fountain said.

This Brentwood resident has been using leftover fabric to make reusable face masks that she’s lining with coffee filters. 

She’s giving them away to other essential employees like grocery clerks and law enforcement who don’t have access to N95 masks.

“It’s not gonna protect you from the virus but what it is going to do is allow you to not touch your face. It’s mainly all the people to who are out in the public and they’re going to give him a sense of security versus nothing at all what why not have an extra layer,” Perry-Fountain said.

Deanna says she has extra time now that she’s working from home and not commuting. 

It makes her feel good to use that time doing what she can to help make those in her community feel more secure.

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