HarvestCall: Sewing Face Mask Efforts

Sign up to help at Jon and Angie's Barn here! Willing helpers are needed. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B45AFAE29AAFC1-face1/ Current bottleneck is packaging the masks -- no sewing expertise required!

We have ramped up production of cotton reusable face masks for anyone who may have a need. This includes healthcare workers, their families, and anyone who needs one to comply with CDC guidelines.  At this point, most of our known needs have been supplied - if you know of any needs, do not hesitate to ask for masks for other facilities, family members, or yourself.

We have also been adding sleeves to johnnys for Vernon Manor nursing home.

So far, we’ve made & distributed nearly 10,000 (as of 4/9) and have finessed our process to give us even more speed and efficiency. We are meeting in groups of 10 people maximum at Jon and Angie Moser’s Barn and are all wearing masks ourselves during this process.  We’ve been using Sign-up genius as our way to invite interested parties.  There are also sisters and friends working on these in their homes and delivering completed masks back to the barn. 

For those interested, materials needed are cotton fabric and 8” pieces of ¼” or ⅛” elastic. Click the link to watch an instructional video for how to make the masks: https://youtu.be/Mq1pc-k2xxw 

To request materials, or if you have further questions, contact Carla Lanz via her cell: (860-871-0773).  To be added to the Harvest Call email list, or to get access to the Sign-up genius, please email Carla at ctharvestcall@gmail.com.  The loving response to help during this time has been tremendous.  Thanks to all who have offered a helping hand, a prayer, a word of encouragement. 

Common Questions About Sewn Face Masks:

Many have questions about the masks we are producing. We can summarize most of the questions with the following three:

  1. Why are we making the masks?

  2. What is the known need?

  3. What are the CDC guidelines?

Why are we making these masks?

The supply of masks is not keeping up with demand.  Healthcare workers are being trained to work without them and some are already being asked to prioritize which staff members will get to use them.

What is the known need?

We have received requests for hundreds of masks from local healthcare facilities. Most of these requests have come through local connections who have contacts at the facilities or work there themselves.  

What are the CDC guidelines?

There is no doubt masks with an N95 specification are the best for stopping the COVID 19 virus. However, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), during the current shortage some type of mask is better than no mask. The CDC states:

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. 
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

You can learn more at the following links:

Comments on the Current Local Harvest Call Mask Design:

While the CDC even recommends using a bandana or scarf at last resort, we researched the subject and have taken the recommendation of a Taiwanese doctor who recommends upgrading a two layer cotton mask with a replaceable layer of “nonwoven” fabric.  Examples of nonwoven material are a dry baby wipe, dryer sheet, or surgical drape. Nonwoven material is reported to have better filtering capabilities and is used in many commercially produced masks. The intent of the current mask design is to stop large water droplets and at the very least encourage healthcare providers not to touch their face. You can use the following link for more information on the origin of the current mask design.

For more references confirming the shortage of face masks you can you using the following links: