Habitat is partnering with Cville Craft Aid to help make and distribute thousands of masks that may help protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
While a shortage of protective masks for health care workers has dominated the news, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends that anyone venturing out into public places wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose. Since commercially manufactured masks have long since disappeared from retail shelves and online platforms, the only masks available to most people are homemade.
This shortage prompted Cville Craft Aid to organize local community members with sewing skills to pitch in and start making masks for people in need. The patterns for the masks are based on recommendations by the CDC. Habitat's primary role in the partnership is to safely assemble and distribute mask-making kits containing the necessary cloth, thread and elastic.
Distributing protective gear is not typically part of Habitat's mission, but our organization has expanded its scope in response to the pandemic. An interim plan to address the crisis was recently approved by Habitat's Board of Directors.
"Habitat is an organization that runs to the fire, so pivoting our operations to address a need in the community where we can make a big impact is part of our DNA," says Caitlin Riopel, Director of Operations. "Supporting mask making is definitely a new endeavor for us and we've learned a lot from the community experts who have been doing this work since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis."
As of September 2020 the mask program partnership with CCA has subsided as masks became more available.