Medical experts have urged the general public to wear homemade cloth face masks during this pandemic. However, some people don’t have the resources or ability to create these masks. Donating cloth masks provides a great way to assist others in this time of need. This form of facial covering won’t fully protect the wearer against the COVID-19 virus, but it might help prevent the inadvertent spread of the disease to others.
Materials You’ll Need
Consider assembling these items to create face masks:
- Clean cotton fabric (one square foot minimum)
- Elastic hair ties or cloth straps
- Coffee filters (optional)
- Scissors and needle and thread and/or a sewing machine
The CDC website contains complete instructions for creating a mask using the bottom three inches of a cloth T-shirt. It also features directions for cutting out a mask made from a cloth bandana. If desired, you may obtain prefabricated cloth straps by removing the ties from an unwanted apron or a baby bib. Alternatively, you can sew these items by cutting 1″ strips of cloth fabric, folding them once or twice, and sewing the loose seams.
If you possess limited sewing skills, consider using scissors to cut a cloth T-shirt or a bandana mask in accordance with the diagrams on the CDC website. Essentially, you need to create a cloth covering for your nose and mouth that you can secure in place with cloth straps or elastic bands.
Distributing Your Masks
Many sites accept masks made by volunteers. Some medical centers and other institutions allow for mask drop-offs at the entrance from generous donors. If you’re unsure of which locations are accepting masks in your area, consider calling your local United Way or Red Cross organization to learn more.
Remember, if you use just a bit of free time to help others, you’re sure to reap the benefits for years to come!