Virginia mask-making group aids pandemic responders

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Hobby turns into a helping hand

MIDLOTHIAN, Va (WRIC) — Virtually connected, nearly 2,000 followers of a Facebook page are finding ways to make face masks for health care workers responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

RVA masks 4 health” has banded together seamstresses, hobbyists, and volunteers in Central Virginia to make various styles and functions of face masks. However, the group’s coordinator, Julie Kratzer, wasn’t expecting such a large response.

“I expected it to be me and a few of my friends that I knew through sewing circles, and then it grew,” Kratzer says.

Group volunteers range from people hoping to transport completed masks to medical professionals identifying what facilities have a need.

“Some of our seamstresses don’t want to leave the house or they’re in the critical, danger group to be going out, right? So, they’re putting masks on their porch and we’re having people come and pick those up and deliver them to facilities.”

Julie Kratzer

The increasing interest on the Facebook page—created on March 19—to make masks has prompted people to donate fabric and essential mask-making materials like elastic and pipe cleaners.

Kratzer says group “administrators,” as she calls them, are mobilizing efforts to put together mask-making kits for volunteers to assemble, and then drop-off at various locations, before being delivered to medical facilities in need.

Kits have enough material to make 20 masks.

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