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

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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.

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