SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Some volunteers are stepping up to sew masks for doctors, nurses and first responders to help with the shortage during the coronavirus outbreak.
Donna Norris and Shannon Walker were inspired to sew masks after hearing about the shortage and seeing others help online.
“It’s just sad. I’ve answered so many messages about nurses using the same mask all week, nurses not having any masks at all; first responders not having any masks at all,” Walker said.
Walker and Norris began taking orders last month and have been giving the masks away for free. Walker posted about the effort on Facebook, and the response was overwhelming. She says she has received hundreds of orders and messages from many others offering to help.
“I have pages and pages of people in doctor’s offices, hospitals, first responders, everybody you can think of wants a mask. We actually can’t keep up, so we had to recruit some help,” Walker said.
Over the past few days, the mother, daughter sewing duo has grown into a team of eight. Some volunteers help buy supplies, others prepare the materials and a few sew the masks. Walker says people have also donated more than $1,000 for supplies.
The final product goes directly to those fighting the virus on the front lines.
Walker and Norris recognize the masks do not provide as much protection against the virus as N95 respirator masks, but they say they are better than wearing nothing.
“They’re all risking their lives to take care of other people, so we feel like they should have at least some sort of protection for themselves,” Walker said.
“We have to look out for the people who are looking out for us,” Norris said.
Walker says the only way she and her mother can keep up the effort is if people continue to donate and volunteer. To make a donation or to join the effort, click here.