Utahn organizes massive push to sew masks requested by hospitals

Community Over Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Hospitals and emergency responders across the country are warning that we’re about to hit a wall–a shortage of personal protective equipment, including masks. Utahns are stepping in to help. 

Utah ICU nurse Megan Jansen created a direct link between hospitals and seamstresses; it’s called Sewing for Lives. Hospitals can request a certain number of mask covers and volunteer seamstresses fill their need. Jansen said, “There’s been such a mass surge and we’re planning for an even bigger surge and we want to be prepared.”

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Jansen created the concept, the team, then the website in about 24 hours. Four days later, more than 150 facilities are requesting nearly 7,000 masks total. 

The product is a mask cover, CDC approved in a crisis. They’re meant to extend the lifespan of medical grade protective gear. 

“It’s not an ideal situation, making homemade mask covers, but we’re not living in an ideal situation right now. We’re all doing the very best that we can,” Jansen explained.

One of the Utahns answering the call is Marcella Hill, the owner of Love Woolies. She and her team of seamstresses and cutters usually make warm and adorable goodies from sweaters, but they’ve exchanged their wool for cotton. 

“As soon as the link came to me I thought, yes, we’re all in, ” said Hill, “We already have 500 out right now being made and we’re cutting beyond that and ready for our next assignment.”

If you would like to sew, contact Sew For Lives; they’ll give you an assignment or assign you to an order in progress. If you’re not much of a seamstress, you can donate fabric, elastic, or shipping costs. 

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