Volunteers learn how to sew surgical masks for healthcare workers across the Valley


FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Thursday over 20 volunteers learned how to sew surgical masks for healthcare workers across the Central Valley. 

The course was hosted by Kiki’s Quilt Shack in partnership with Central Valley Community Foundation. Within hours, around 2,100 masks were completed.

Those masks will be delivered to numerous hospitals and medical facilities across the Valley all the way from Visalia to Merced. 

“This is America and this is what Americans do,” said Kiki’s Quilt Shack Co-Owner Manny Massengale.”When times get tough, we get tougher ad get sewing, right?”

The dozens of volunteers who anticipated in the class concentrated as a needle and thread pieced together two pieces of fabric. The final product, medical face masks, has become a scarce commodity in the valley due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I am really concerned,” said volunteer Tess Costa. “I used to work in a hospital a long time ago and I know how this virus is working havoc on our society.”

The volunteers each got a kit that could make a dozen masks. Central Valley Director of Philanthropy Hannah McAbee encouraged by the turnout. 

“We are in a scary, uncertain situation that we are all facing,” said McAbee. “Yet there have been so many examples of kindness, of hope, of people helping one another.” 

Costa took the class to give back. 

“I want to help and thank them for all that they do.”

The masks were designed to be fast and easy. Yet the template was specifically chosen because of the design. The inside has a pocket to allow healthcare workers to insert a filter that they can change at the end of their shift.

“That filter will help keep all of the germ particles away from the healthcare givers,” said Kiki’s Quilt Shack Owner Kiki Massengale. “We don’t want our doctors and nurses and healthcare givers to get sick and this was one of the ways we could hopefully do to make a difference.” 

The class was in person at the shop this week but will taught virtually on Zoom on Tuesday April 9th. To sign up and for more information, citizens an email fresnomasks@gmail.com.

COVID-19 resource links:

For local, national, and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.