Homemade face masks sewn and donated to CNAs in Salt Lake City, Utah

Homemade Face Masks Donated to CNAs in Utah

Armando Carillo Articles

Accessible Systems employee wearing a homemade face mask she sewed to donate to CNAs in Salt Lake City, Utah

Accessible Systems’ employee, Jodi, wearing a homemade face mask she sewed to donate to CNAs in Salt Lake City, Utah

Be relevant. Be human. Be real.

This was the key take-away following a company briefing advising that Accessible Systems would remain operational, albeit under stricter safety protocols, and is deemed an “essential business” as defined in Colorado State Governor, Jared Polis’, stay-at-home order that went into effect Thursday, March 26, 2020. More on that later.

I had an opportunity to fulfill this newly adopted company modo after receiving a call for help from a friend, and CEO of House of Hope, Lisa Heaton.

House of Hope is a substance disorder treatment program in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lisa expressed concern over not having enough face masks for the staff and clients of her treatment program. She stressed how scarce face masks have become online, in retail stores, and in medical supplies shops. She desperately needed 40 face masks for her “in-patient” workers and 80 face masks for those in “out-patient” care. Without face masks, her staff and clients would be put at high-risk and she’d be forced to shut the doors.

In response, I dug out my old 15-year-old sewing machine, dusted it off, threaded it, loaded the bobbin and after a few how-to YouTube tutorials, I went to work making face masks. I spent an entire weekend zig-zagging, back-stitching and unpicking to produce these homemade face masks, while continually reminding myself WHY I was doing it.

Once finished, I stopped by another friend’s house while en route to deliver the homemade face masks to House of Hope. This other friend has multiple sclerosis and is treated in-home by a CNA. The CNA was there when I arrived and took note of the face masks I had made, then pulled out a crumpled face mask from her pocket stating it was her only mask. She is being limited to one mask per week.

I offered one of the homemade face masks, to which she asked, “How many more can you make?”

I told her I’d sew as many as she needed.

Homemade face masks that were sewn and donated to CNAs in Salt Lake City, Utah

Sample homemade face masks that were sewn and donated

So as I prep myself for another weekend behind my trusty sewing machine, I ask you to join me and Accessible Systems in recognizing Lisa, and all other essential CNAs, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, doctors and administrative personnel at the front lines combating this global virus. I will approach the task at hand with added confidence, knowing that my homemade face masks are filling a dire void. It doesn’t matter that the stitching is crooked or that the back-stitching is off-center (which they are).

I’m NOT a seamstress, I’m a marketer that firmly believes it is a good thing to BE RELEVANT, to BE HUMAN, and to BE REAL right now.

-Jodi Robinson