Due to surging demand for medical personal protective equipment in area hospitals, communities like the Wine Country–burg of Sonoma are organizing donation drives and volunteer sewing efforts to meet the need.
New N95 respirators and fabric facemask donations can be dropped off between 10am and 4pm, Monday–Friday at the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. The center asks that all mask donations be sealed in Ziploc plastic bags and deposited in the designated window drop-off located near the center’s parking area near the rear of the building. Face-mask donations will be regularly distributed to local hospitals and other health organizations. Currently, the community center is fielding requests from the Sonoma Valley Hospital for pleated face masks if new N95 masks are not available.
“Hospitals are asking for the N95 face masks so we will gladly collect donations of new and unused masks that people may have to spare,” said Creative Programs Manager Eric Jackson, in a statement. “There are also requests for the standard face masks, too, so we are providing sewing patterns on our website and materials for anyone who is willing to donate their time sewing face masks at home.”
Every Wednesday, from 1pm to 2 pm, the community center will also receive masks produced by members of the community, provided they are made from fabric that is new and 100 percent cotton. Elastic straps, cotton fabrics and bias tape will be available for curbside pick-up in the Sonoma Community Center parking lot behind the building for sewing volunteers as long as supplies last, and sewing patterns can be found online under the sonomacommunitycenter.org/philanthropyfacemasks.
Likewise, those in possession of elastic, 100-percent cotton fabric and thread and who are interested in donating to the cause can also drop off these materials at this time.
“Many people are feeling a bit helpless and are wondering what they can do,” Jackson said. “And I think, at this moment, it’s these small actions that we all can do as a community, like social distancing, that will hopefully help our medical providers prepare for and deal with this current pandemic.”
For more information, visit sonomacommunitycenter.org under the Events tab, or call 707.938.4626 ext 3.