Mid-South volunteers stepping up to help make medical masks for health care workers

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It started off on Facebook and has now become a full-fledged mask-making operation overnight.

Although business has fallen off for Jennifer Reith, she has never been one to let fabric go to waste.

“We’re taking and putting 15, six by nine squares in one plastic bag,” Reith explained.

Reith and her team at Night Owl T-Shirt Quilts have made over 1,500 kits containing fabric to make masks for health care workers who are running low while fighting against COVID-19.

“People can pick it up, make them, drop them back off here then I can give them to the Mid-South Mask Makers so that they can distribute as needed,” said Reith.

The Mid-South Medical Mask Makers, a Facebook group that just launched Friday and now has hundreds of members wanting to help make masks for health care workers.

“I can follow a pattern and I’m putting my skills to use,” said Delilah Heatherly, a homeschool mom.

She's helping manage the Facebook group that's become a hub for information.

“Mostly what we’ve done is we’ve connected the right people,” she said.

And those connections lead back to Tresha Mandel.

“I went on a Facebook group, saw that they were making masks for doctors in Indiana and then I thought hmm that would be a great idea to do here,” said Mandel.

Mandel runs a non-profit that sends medical teams to go on medical missions.

She’s now, putting her organizational skills to use as the head distributor for the Mid-South Medical Mask Makers

“We’ve already delivered to a couple of ER’s in the area and also to a pop-up clinic,” said Mandel. “A lot of them are using it to put over their N95′s so they can use it as a protective shield and wash it each day and sanitize it each day because a lot of professionals have been told their N95′s have to last them a month.”

Now with the Mid-South Medical Mask Makers hard at work, there’s an ever-growing army of people helping the healthcare workers on the front lines.

The group is also looking for people to volunteer as drivers to deliver the masks. You can ask to join the Mid-South Mask Makers Facebook group to start helping out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2138556833044015/?ref=share

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