About two weeks ago, just as schools were moving online and people around the State were implementing social distancing, hospitals and healthcare workers were beginning to have concerns about their supplies of personal protective equipment.
Enter Cindy Rosen, a volunteer with the Mercer County chapter of Project Linus, an organization that makes and donates blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. Rosen quickly realized that she had spare fabric that could be used to make masks. On March 20, she posted on Facebook that anyone who wanted it to make the masks to donate to local medical personal could pick up fabric from her.
The following day, Johan Glozman called her and, together, along Glozman’s wife Lee Ann, and Brian and Brittany Cole, they established the Mercer Mask Project. The group uses Facebook to reach out to volunteers and have set up a go fund me page to buy additional supplies.
Along with the five co-founders and eight others working behind the scenes, there are several dozen people who sew and deliver the masks. Several businesses have donated fabric and laundry and other services.
As of April 3, the Mercer Mask Project has delivered 1100 masks to places around Mercer County. Some of the masks are more sophisticated, with the ability to add filters, while others are for more general use. They have been given to hospitals, pharmacies, and health care professionals, first responders, nonprofits, elder care and other entities such as supermarkets, correctional facilities, and more.
The next items that they will be making are gowns and hair coverings. Rosen said, “Since elastic has been hard to find, we are looking for ribbon” for ties. The Mercer Mask Project is still looking for the following donations:
Cotton and Cotton Blend Sheets
100% cotton fabric
Satin or grosgrain ribbon (1/4″ to 1/2″)
Elastic (1/4″ to 1/2″)
Double fold bias tape
Gallon Zip bags
Sewing machine needles