Make Masks Make PPE

Make Nashville Fabric Mask Blog

By Jenna Loofbourrow

What a difference a week can make 4/6:

I walked into Make Nashville this Monday, and had to catch my breath. Our table of finished masks was a mess. The piles we had neatly stacked and sorted Friday were falling over; there wasn’t any organization, it was simply a giant pile of hand sewn fabric masks. Will peeked his head in while two of us volunteers were moving the masks around trying to find a sense of order. He announced “Oh yeah, we had a bunch of nurses in over the weekend picking out masks for themselves & their coworkers. It was so cool!” 

Last week I walked into Make Nashville, not knowing what to expect; only that I wanted to do something good that day. COVID-19 has taken away a lot of people’s freedom, taken away jobs (like mine), and taken away people’s sense of security. But what it hasn’t taken away… The ability to do good. 

Here I was a week later, seeing the work done by the volunteers & knowing that without a doubt, we did good. Suddenly, cleaning up this mess wasn’t so frustrating anymore. We were picking up after the people we were here to help, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Cleaning up our act 4/8:

Today we spent the day cleaning and sanitizing our already sterile, but lived-in workspace. We’ve been working like crazy to fine tune our patterns, protocols and pieces of the puzzle that is our mask making process. After research done by our office staff we realized we needed to step up our game when it came to organizing and sanitizing our finished masks. I’d say that blood, sweat and tears went into our day; but given those fluids are “illegal” now, let’s just say that a lot of gloves, bleach and paper towels went into the day! 

I’m proud to announce that we now have a system in place to collect, organize, sterilize, date and store our fabric face masks. We even commandeered half of our fabric lab to store finished masks while they are isolating and wait to be distributed!! It might not look too fancy, but it’s our way of showing healthcare workers and first responders just how seriously we take protecting them from possible contaminants. 

One of my favorite parts about helping at Make Nashville is their willingness and ability to adapt. In just 10 days time, we have redesigned our process for making fabric masks, organized pick-up/drop-offs for dozens of volunteers and now implemented a sterilizing/cataloging system; all to meet a HUGE need for our community.