UPDATE: MAY 20, 2020
Thank you to our community for their incredible support of health care workers and patients at SAH! Over the last several weeks, many sewing groups and individuals have worked hard to craft reusable masks. At this time, we have reached capacity for these sewn masks at SAH. We will still accept what arrives but we encourage you to direct your donations of hand sewn masks to other organizations or individuals in the community who may benefit from this generous and kind service.
Do you know how to sew? Do you have a stockpile of high-thread count cotton sheets or fabric? The Sault Area Hospital (SAH) alongside the SAH Foundation are looking for your help.
Since asking our community to start sewing non-medical masks on March 23, our hospital has received many offers of help – of those who have supplies but can’t sew, and those who can sew but lack supplies. That’s why our Foundation has partnered with the local “Days for Girls” chapter to connect those that have materials to those who can use it.
Days for Girls is a Zonta program where volunteers sew reusable menstrual pads for women in need. The local chapter has hundreds of volunteers that donate their time and talents – normally at a once-a-month gathering. Now, Days for Girls, along with community volunteers who have joined, are being asked to produce masks for high-risk patients, essential workers, and others in the community.
The need for sewn non-medical masks is growing in the community. The hospital has collected almost 2,000 masks so far, but is projecting a need of up to 1,000 masks per week. These masks will now be given to patients and visitors as they enter SAH. There will continue to be circumstances where providing a medical mask to a patient on entry is the appropriate choice. Providing sewn masks will allow our hospital to preserve valuable personal protective equipment (PPE) while also helping to distribute these masks into the community. Patients and visitors will be offered a sewn mask (while supplies are available) and allowed to take their sewn mask home with them (along with instructions on how to properly care for the mask).
Thank you to everyone who has already donated hand sewn masks to Sault Area Hospital. Our workers have been touched by the community’s generosity in giving their time and energy to help sew these for our hospital. Wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure you take to help protect others around you while continuing to practice all other Public Health recommended precautions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are currently looking for the following materials for our sewers:
High thread count cotton sheets (bedding) or other cotton fabric
Wire – to allow masks to close tightly around the bridge of the nose (can include covered garden, floral wire, etc.)
Elastic for ear loops (1/8" or 1/4" preferred)
We are also looking for people who may know how to sew – if you are willing to give your time and talents, Days for Girls can help to get you the supplies you need. Please contact Gabi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone has a part to play in stopping the spread of this virus and keeping our community safe. If you don’t sew or don’t have any supplies to donate, still know that you are helping keep our community safe by staying home and staying socially distant. We will get through this together. Thank you.
For More Information about non-medical masks please see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html
For the press release from March 23 with the mask pattern and other information about SAH's need for masks, visit https://www.sah.on.ca/news/media-releases/sah-requests-community-support-for-health-care-workers