BROOKVILLE – With an urgent call sent out for surgical style face masks needed for first responders and health care workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic a group was formed locally by sewing enthusiasts and others to meet that need.
Stemming from a post on Facebook by Rev. Ali Rode, Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brookville, 10-plus sewers are busy making the masks desperately needed by Dayton area agencies and organizations.
Led by Rachel Estep, along with Valerie Reid-Thorn and Rev. Rode, the group is busy at work after “the church reached out to us,” said Estep, who is the spokesperson for the Facebook group, Brookville Sewing Masks.
“More and more people are contacting us every day,” Estep said. “We have more masks coming in.”
By mid-week last week over 600 masks had been made.
Now these are not the N95 surgical approved grade masks so much is being talked about since these are in short supply currently nationwide. The masks being sown locally are ones that can still be worn to help protect those on the front lines, and some being sown do include a pocket area to place a special filter in.
Estep said this group is making the masks to be used “in conjunction with N95 masks.”
In other words, to help prolong the supply of N95 masks.
She said that different locations have “different requirements” for the style of masks used, and that the local group is aiding smaller locations and health care workers like the first responders and nursing homes and home health care workers.
She also pointed out that the group is not receiving any federal funding to aid its efforts.
“We are trying to help those being affected with the masks being re-directed to the hospitals and main locations,” Estep said.
Of the group’s roster, Estep said, half are sewing, and the other half are either cutting fabric for the masks or running fabric to the sewers or picking up finished products.
There are three Brookville area drop-off locations for finished masks, Trinity Lutheran Church, at 25 W. Westbrook Road, 11572 Air Hill Road in Perry Township or 9 Terrace Park Blvd. in Brookville.
Estep said that at all three locations there is hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to use.
Estep did issue one plea for the group, “We need more bodies sewing.”
If you would like more information or reach out to offer help go to the Brookville Sewing Masks page on Facebook.