As masks become an accepted way of protecting ourselves and others during the pandemic, groups are contacting the Guild with requests for the donation of home-made masks. I know that many of you have made dozens, if not hundreds of masks, but for anyone looking for a new place to donate to, or for a place to start, here are a several options for you (some of which you have seen before; I thought I’d consolidate things for you!).
At the end of this message, there’s a listing of several different sources for information about mask making.
You don’t have to just make masks for big organizations. Your family, friends and neighbours will also like them! Have a look at www.goodnewsnetwork.org (April 23 entry) to see one woman’s neighbourhood ‘Giving Tree’ with her free home-made face masks to see what one Iowa woman is doing!
Whether you make some masks just for yourselves and your family members, or whether you make masks to help the rest of your community, I want to thank you for all you do! We have great members!
Stay well and keep on quilting!
Toronto Bay Bloor Rotary Club:
If anyone is interested and able to make face masks for those most vulnerable in our city, here is a request from the Toronto Bay Bloor Rotary club:
This club supports the Seeds of Hope project in downtown Toronto, providing meals for the homeless, and also supports the Common Table program at the Church of the Redeemer, where meals are given not only from the church steps to those who can get there, but where teams of volunteers also walk the streets of the area, bringing the food to those who do not make it even to the church for one reason or another: and receive food where they are. There is a great need for fabric masks to be distributed to these people who have nothing, not even a place to shelter in many cases. Those who would go to shelters are afraid to be in such crowded conditions, so they are more and more forced onto the streets. The Executive Director of one of the programs described being at “an encampment” the other night, handing out sterno, water and food to those who had no masks, but are living communally and the volunteers had no masks to give them. The volunteers themselves are in need of masks as well.
Any help to make masks would be greatly appreciated. A mask design has been developed, based on the Michael Garron patterns, but taking extra public health requirements into account. If you can help, please contact Jean Kammermayer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingsway-Lambton United Church
A team from Kingsway-Lambton United Church has organized sewists to make over 1500 masks for charities, and hundreds of masks have already been delivered to the Fred Victor Centre and Eva’s Initiative for Homeless Youth as well as other charities serving the vulnerable. Now, St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s Hospitals are also asking for the masks they are making…so they need even more people to sew!
The team has sanitation procedures in place, courtesy of Gibson’s Cleaners, and a medically approved and researched mask pattern. While not medical grade, these masks are high quality, reusable and can reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19. The materials are being assembled into kits with instructions. All operations are in Etobicoke so you can pick up the kit and drop finished masks off in the West End. (WE stands for West End.)
If you have a sewing machine and can help, please contact WemakemasksTO at:
When you email, can you please tell WEmakemasksTO how you heard about the project
Michael Garron Hospital Foundation
The initial call for hand-made masks from a public institution was put out (in Toronto) by Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (the foundation for the former East General Hospital). They want 1000 hand-made masks a week, to provide to approved visitors to the Hospital, all discharged patients and the broader community around the Hospital. For more information, go to www.mghf.ca Drop off is at the Hospital Coxwell lobby at 825 Coxwell Avenue from 8:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Word is that they have enough masks now, so check their website before making any deliveries, or consider another recipient for your work.
Sew for TO
A group of Sewists got together to co-ordinate the making of and requests for protective, handmade masks and scrub caps, and created Sew for TO; their website is www.sewforto.ca They are working with donors of fabric and material, sewists and volunteer drivers to boost the supply of masks in Toronto, and organizations or members of the public can contact them to request masks or scrub caps. Their web site contains instructions for making masks, scrub caps, and related items, and has links to helpful videos, as well as information about arranging to have your completed masks picked up.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
The Hospital has recently started a 1000 mask a week challenge, to provide non-medical masks to their staff, clients and families who are coming and going to and from the hospital, and for use in the community. They would like people to use fun, child friendly patterns or dark-coloured fabrics for the front of the masks, and cottons for the back. They’re also looking for scrub caps with buttons; visit
www.canadasews.ca for scrub cap patterns and instructions. For more information about Holland Bloorview’s drive, go to www.hollandbloorview.ca/mask–drive Drop off is at the main reception desk at the Hospital at 150 Kilgour Road, Toronto between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Masks can also be mailed to the Hospital.
Justice for Migrant Workers
This is a local group supporting migrant farm workers who come from Latin America and the Caribbean to work in our greenhouses, orchards and fields. Completed masks can be mailed to Riam Mirigmitr at Upper-7 Askew Street, Leamington, On N8H 1X4. There may still be some pre-cut tops and linings available from Toronto designer, Susan Singh, who can be reached at email@example.com, if you don’t want to use your own materials.
In addition to the links that some of the groups, above, have included, the Fabric Spark facebook page has tutorials in mask making from Shirley Dawson and from Kris Boos, if you are looking for some help in making your masks.
www.canadasews.ca also has patterns and YouTube links for masks and scrub caps.