Local sewing group looking for volunteers to help provide 30,000 cloth masks to health care workers

A group of sewers seeking to create 30,000 cloth face masks for front-line health care workers in Los Angeles issued a call for additional volunteers to help in the effort.

"We are looking to help health care workers and hospitals,'' said Anna Kitabjian, a local nurse practitioner and an organizer for The Sew Helpful Brigade.

"Although hand-sewn products are not the optimal solution compared to N95 masks used by front-line medical teams involved in patient care, hand-sewn cloth masks preserve medical-grade mask lifespans and can also benefit health care workers and individuals who are not actively in sustained contact with COVID-19 patients.''

The Sew Helpful Brigade, formed by five professional local women, is working with major retailers and other donors -- such as Joann Fabric and Craft stores, Michaels stores and RAW Artists, Inc. -- to gather materials, produce and distribute the free cloth masks.

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The group is working to recruit volunteer seamstresses, tailors, hobby sewers, costume and fashion designers to help meet their goal.

Anyone who joins the effort will be provided sewing materials such as fabric, wire, thread and elastic bands, according to the group. 

Skilled sewers looking to help can contact the team via its Instagram page, @sew.helpful, or email at sewhelpfulteam@gmail.com.

According to the group, it has already been able to provide cloth masks to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Totally Kids, the Long Beach Medical Center and other health care facilities in Los Angeles.

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