See how a recently launched organization is banding together crafters and makers from across the Tri-State to make thousands of handmade masks for frontline workers.
There’s an organized group of makers in Cincinnati who are on a mission: Creating and donating mask covers to front line workers who are fighting to keep up safe in the face of an unprecedented health crisis.
This organization is called Sew Masks 4 Cincy, and Esther Kang was inspired to launch the group after she read that the FDA was recommending that people use bandanas as a last resort for personal protective equipment.
“I called my friend who is in my small group,” she explains. “She’s a nurse at UC Health. I asked her if I should get a small group to sew a couple masks.”
And from there, Sew Masks 4 Cincy was born, on March 20 to be exact. By that evening, Kang says that Sew Masks 4 Cincy was a group of 500 people and within 72 hours there were 6,000 people in the group.
“It’s been absolutely incredible watching the community rally together to protect our own,” says Kang.
When she first started the group, Kang says she was hoping to find a group of women to sew 50 masks.
“50 masks meant 50 people: moms, sisters, dads, brothers, uncles, sons, and daughters protected a little more in accordance to the new FDA guidelines,” says Kang.
The two styles offered by Sew Masks 4 Cincy were chosen by TriHealth, and any hospital or frontline facility that receives masks from Sew Masks 4 Cincy approves the mask styles and will be providing optional, disposable filters that can be put in the filter cover pocket.
So far, a total of 14 facilities in the Greater Cincinnati Region have received masks from the group. “We are working with TriHealth, UC Health, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Christ Hospital, Veterans Affairs Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati Police Department, and have over 100 front line facilities on our waitlist, and it’s growing by the minute,” says Kang.
As of April 10, a total of 6,500 masks have been donated at the drop off sites, just three weeks after the group’s launch.