Days for Girls New Hope Chapter Volunteers To Sew Masks
Local hospitals and clinics are asking for the community to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Allina Health, along with several community partners, have launched a statewide volunteer effort, calling on people to sew and donate masks for healthcare workers.
Days for Girls New Hope Chapter Volunteers to Sew Masks
After a volunteer from the New Hope chapter of Days for Girls saw several postings on Facebook asking for volunteers, Amy Charpentier jumped at the chance to help. Days for Girls is an international organization that empowers girls and women worldwide with more dignity, health and safety through access to quality sustainable menstrual health management and education.
“Normally we’re sewing feminine hygiene products for girls and women in developing countries. But as this need arose, and as we’re not able to send out Days for Girls kits for distribution, because obviously there’s no international travel, we’ve kind of just switched the focus over to the local need,” said Charpentier.
700 Masks Made So Far
Two people from the group, Charpentier and Christina Schulte, have sewed up around 700 masks so far.
“We’re two very determined people,” Charpentier said. “I live next door to an ER nurse. She’s been working with my prototype, and we have a great pattern. It’s got a metal nose piece and a pocket to be able to add a filter layer if they want. I did some research on furnace filters and are cutting those apart as well as quilt batting.”
The women sent masks to Park Nicollet, Regions Hospital and North Memorial Health Hospital.
“There’s been a lot of talk about are they actually being used? Can the nurses and doctors use these? The reports that we’re getting back directly from the nurses that we handed them over to is yes. Our masks are being used,” Charpentier said.
The volunteers are asking for financial donations because they are using supplies generally used for their organization. When the crisis is over, they will need materials to restock their own supplies.
The group plans to keep sewing the protective gear for as long as there is a need for masks.