As the coronavirus continues to spread, many of us are at home, wisely practicing social distancing. That includes many, many talented makers whose offices or studios have been shut down. At the same time, healthcare workers around the country are facing a shortage of medical equipment, including masks. Ella Hall, founder of the upholstery startup Stitchroom, saw a connection between these two realities—and decided to take action. Beginning last week, Hall launched a DIY mask initiative, encouraging any makers with free time to craft masks for use during the pandemic, using a pattern (from freesewing.org) which Hall shared to the Stitchroom website.
"If we can all join together to build this network we can help our heroes on the front lines," Hall said in an Instagram post announcing the initiative.
So, here's how it works: Interested crafters can sign up on the Stitchroom site, where they'll be prompted to fill out a form indicating how many masks they can complete and when. While you stitch your masks, Hall and her team are coordinating with hospitals and other medical facilities in need of masks (who can also register on the Stitchroom site). The Stitchroom team will reach out to you ahead of your completion date with instructions on where to send the completed masks. Stitchroom is also sharing advice on which fabrics work best for face masks, in compliance with CDC regulations.
"While non-essential business are put on hold for the time being, at Stitchroom we wanted to adapt our focus to the current needs and help those most impacted at this time," Hall tells House Beautiful. And it's already working: In the first 24 hours, nearly 1,000 masks have been pledged, and the first batches will ship out to hospitals today.
So, you get a new indoor activity and hospital workers get much-needed masks. Talk about a win-win. Not crafty but want to support the cause? Stitchroom is also accepting donations to go towards shipping and other costs associated with the program.
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