Sewing masks to help limit risks amidst the pandemic

As the pandemic stretches onward, local efforts continue to keep the region supplied with protective masks and PPE garments.

Sew Masks 4 Cincy, a grassroots effort to stem the tide of COVID-19

Sew Masks 4 Cincy, a community of local volunteers supporting frontline workers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has focused its efforts on donating free fabric masks to local schools and nonprofit organizations that work with children. Sew Masks 4 Cincy has donated more than 30,000 masks to local hospitals, police, public schools, and frontline facilities.

Tamar Sella delivering 200 masks made by Walnut Hills students to Walnut Hills High School Assistant Principal Jessica Smitson

Cincinnati Public Schools has been working closely with Sew Masks 4 Cincy through senior Tamar Sella, a student at Walnut Hills High School. Sella has been a volunteer since the beginnings of SM4C and has personally sewn hundreds of masks. She volunteered to start and lead a student sewing team at Walnut Hills High School. Knowing the need was great for other schools in Cincinnati, Tamar emailed SM4C about multiple schools in the area needing masks for faculty, staff, and low income students. Sella also worked with Cincinnati Public Schools to create an ad for the CPS employee September newsletter.

There is currently a waitlist for free fabric masks.

Sew Valley re-tools and expands offerings

Sew Valley is a Cincinnati nonprofit with a focus on sustainable, apparel-focused, small-batch manufacturing, education and membership for small designers.

The organization recently received a grant of $14,000 from the State of Ohio’s PPE Retooling / Re-Shoring Grant Program and the Ohio Development Services Agency.  This funding enabled the purchase of new machinery and facility improvements allowing the introduction of gowns and knit masks to its PPE production offering.

Also, Sew Valley announced a new campaign created to help slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Greater Cincinnati.

In partnership with Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, Sew Valley hopes to manufacture 20,000 masks and distribute them to area children and families disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Currently, the organization has raised $8,000 of its $80,000 goal and has distributed 2,000 masks.


Cincy Shakes Makes masks to go

The same team hard at work on custom orders at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is now also providing pre-made items for instant purchase – Shakes Makes To Go.

Since the pandemic has closed Cincinnati Shakespeare Company down, they have pivoted and created a new program called Shakes Makes, utilizing the time and talents of its team to create handmade items – including more than 1,800 masks for the community.

Now Shakes Makes is offering handmade Halloween and harvest-themed masks for adults and children.

All masks will be available via curbside pick up at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company starting Oct. 14. Purchasers will be emailed additional directions for pick up upon checkout.


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