Public asked to help by sewing facemasks

DeKalb County officials are asking the public to help by sewing protective masks for health care workers and first responders.

Officials issued this news release Monday:

“Many in our community have been asking us at the Health Department how they can be of help with our COVID-19 response. We are in need of cloth facemasks for the health care workers and first responders in our area. We would like to reach out to local individuals, churches, sewing groups, etc., that would like to serve our community.

“The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which is part of Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and the Homemakers Club, working under the Purdue Extension, are partnering to provide kits to area residents to sew masks. If you are interested in picking up a kit (20 masks) or would like a mask pattern, call Catholic Charities (contact information and hours of operation are below).

“These groups are currently in need of some supplies to furnish the kits. They need 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch elastic, 1/2-inch twill tape, biased tape, and sewing thread. If you would like to donate these items, they can be dropped off at Catholic Charities.

“Various types of mask patterns are also available online. If you choose to use your own pattern and supplies, we ask that you use pre-washed fabric. Some masks call for elastic, and it is currently in short supply. If you choose to make tie masks, keep in mind that the ties are generally 18 inches long. Please remember that these masks will be used by both men and women and different sizes will be needed.

“PLEASE DROP OFF ALL FINISHED MASKS at Catholic Charities at 107 W. 5th St., Auburn, Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.. If possible, please call ahead at 925-0917 to make sure of the availability of supplies or to get additional directives.

“We appreciate the community support as we all work together unified.”

The message is signed by Dr. Mark Souder, DeKalb County health officer; Cheryl Lynch, DeKalb County Health Department; and Jason Meek, DeKalb County Homeland Security.

[This article by Dave Kurtz appeared originally in The Star and is used with the author’s permission.]