Masks 4 Millions provides for thousands

In the Sacramento area, volunteers work together to produce masks for local healthcare workers.

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Masks 4 Millions

People participate in Masks 4 Millions, as pictured above, to contribute to the health of the community.

During the mask shortage in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Masks 4 Millions worked to make masks for all of those in need.

Masks 4 Millions is a service project that strives to create facial coverings for healthcare workers in order to prolong the life of N-95 masks, which have been in high demand as a result of the pandemic. The organization was originally known as Days for Girls, which made washable and reusable menstrual kits for girls in third world countries.

The group was featured on KCRA3 on March 26 to highlight their accomplishment of making over 15,000 masks and how many volunteers there are across the Sacramento region.

Just days after the pandemic put the nation into quarantine, Masks 4 Millions jumped into motion. People from all over the Granite Bay area and beyond came together to create masks for the local hospitals and clinics.

Because masks were in such high demand, the Masks 4 Millions participants needed to work fast in order to get enough masks for healthcare workers in need. 

In the week following March 20, about 1,700 masks were made for healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente. 

The project is strictly volunteer based, and everyone helping is giving up their time to help people in need. 

As a result of the mass number of volunteers, the masks would later go on to be donated to the homeless, retirement homes and police stations due to their ever increasing quantity.

“(Masks 4 Millions)…also (delivered) masks to frontline workers who were doing things like (running) food trucks, food banks and… nursing homes,” Karen Wilkes, a local leader for the project, said.

There has been a total of over 15,500 masks made to the date of publication since the project began on March 20. 

There has been a total of over 15,500 masks made to the date of publication since the project began on March 20.”

— Kaylee Price

During the quarantine, many people felt useless and disappointed that they could not do anything to help out front line workers fight against the pandemic. 

“(Masks 4 Millions) has been…a miracle project in that, when it began on March 20th, people in our community and all around us…were searching for a way that they could participate and help during this time of crisis when they could not leave their homes and could not work in groups,” Wilkes said. “This was a perfect answer to their need to be able to feel like they were contributing  during the pandemic.”

Many people were able to find a purpose for their time and spend it doing something that would have a positive effect on their community.

GBHS student Lucy Harmer is one of many volunteers for Masks 4 Millions who wish to help local medical workers..

“I participated because I wanted to help the hospitals and serve the community,” Harmer said.

Because of their simplistic design, making a mask is very easy. There are only a few small steps that need to be completed in order for a mask to be made. 

“They take about 10 to 15 minutes to sew, so they are not complicated,” Wilkes said.

The materials that required for the project have simply been sewing machines, elastics and pieces of 100% cotton fabric.

Much of the fabric that is used to make the masks has either been donated by members of the community, or it has been bought using money that has been raised in order to support the organization. 

“(The Masks 4 Millions group gets) the fabric in three ways,” Wilkes said. “People donate it, (we) have used some of (our) donations and funds to purchase fabric and the third way is (we) had a lot of donations from the humanitarian center at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who have donated bolts and bolts of fabric for us to use.” 

Because of all of the support there has been a need for many volunteers and there has been no shortage of them. The project is something that anyone, no matter what their age, can participate in.

“All ages have made (the masks) and they can become quicker if someone else does an assembly line,” Wilkes said.

The “assembly line” process is when some of the volunteers only wash fabric for the masks, others only iron the necessary fabric and some sew the masks. 

This has created the opportunity for many to be actively involved in their communities through contributing to the effort to make more masks.

“(My family and I) all participated,” Harmer said. “We ironed the masks.”

Masks 4 Millions has helped many people in this community during a time of crisis, and because of it, many lives have been changed for the better.

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