10,000 masks. That’s how many have been made and distributed since Blacksburg resident Carol Davis started the NRV Mask Makers Facebook Group in mid-March. The group started with a simple mission – to share video tutorials on how people could make simple masks at home. Soon, interest grew and there were calls from local healthcare workers who were suddenly experiencing shortages in accessing PPE. The group quickly organized and adapted to needs as they emerged – figuring out processes for onboarding new volunteers, distributing materials and sewing machines to willing mask-makers, fielding and prioritizing requests, and safely collecting and distributing masks where they were most needed. After the initial shortages of PPE lessened, the group refocused its efforts to make and distribute masks to community groups who were working directly with vulnerable populations.
“I think it’s been an opportunity for people to feel useful … and we celebrate when we reach milestones,” Holly Lesko, a member of the NRV Mask Makers Coordination Team, said.
If you are interested in getting involved, you can join the NRV Mask Makers Facebook Group for more information.