About the Iowa City Area Face Mask Project
UPDATED 04/19/2020 9:00 PM
Supplies of elastic available while supplies last. Learn how to pick up 5 yard bundles here.
As of mid-April 2020, we have completed the initial phase of the project, but there is a continuing need for fabric face masks in our community, so we're moving onto Phase Two.
If you are coming to this project for the first time, you can read about our work to date in the periodic Updates sent to all volunteers starting in March.
We will no longer distribute kits and collect completed masks from volunteers for delivery to the requesting facilities. Instead we are now asking mask makers to deliver them directly to the hospitals and other organizations requesting them.
Patterns for the project's face masks are now here.
Requests for face masks and other items along with instructions for delivering them are on the Ongoing Needs page.
Sign up to receive updates on the Face Mask project here.
Who's involved? Volunteers from the Old Capitol Quilters Guild, the Preemie Project, and Days for Girls-Iowa City Chapter, all of which sew for a variety of charitable causes, started working together in mid-March 2020. We initially focused on sewing face masks for healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes in the Iowa City area to help bridge the shortage of personal protective equipment. The project quickly expanded beyond healthcare facilities to deliver face masks to a range of other agencies and organizations.
By mid-April 2020, our 100+ volunteers had produced more than 6,500 face masks!
And we're not done yet.
Who has received the masks? We have supplied face masks to Iowa City's three hospitals: Mercy Hospital Iowa City; the Veterans Administration Hospital; and the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (volunteer services). In addition, we have provided face masks to 18 nursing homes and care centers throughout the area; police departments in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty; other city employees in Iowa City, including transit drivers; and many social service agencies. See the full list of receiving organizations here.
Another area volunteer face mask project, Face Masks for Johnson County Iowa, has been fulfilling a large number of requests made by individual UIHC departments. Our two groups have worked closely to ensure we cover the community's needs without duplicating effort.
WE ARE NO LONGER COLLECTING COMPLETED FACE MASKS FOR DISTRIBUTION. INSTEAD, WE ASK EACH VOLUNTEER TO DELIVER THEM DIRECTLY TO THE RECEIVING ORGANIZATION.
What can volunteers do now? Our project coordinators are now stepping back from receiving and delivering face masks. Instead we will maintain a list of the organizations that have ongoing needs and encourage individuals to contact them directly.
Some facilities have told us that they would like other types of hand-made products in addition to face masks, including gowns and caps. Each facility or organization has its own preferences for specific patterns and materials, so check with them first to make sure you will be meeting their needs and expectations.
Instructions for delivering the finished masks are also available on the ongoing needs page and/or directly from the receiving organization.
COVID-19 Gothic, a quilt by Pam Ehrhardt, one of the coordinators of the Iowa City Area Face Mask Project. She originally created this quilt, based on Grant Wood's iconic painting, American Gothic, for an Iowa-themed quilt challenge held by the Old Capitol Quilters Guild in July 2016. She added the face masks on April 19, 2020, after making hundreds of them herself and assisting in the creation of many more through the project.
SIGN UP FOR THE PROJECT'S MAILING LIST TO RECEIVE UPDATES ON NEW REQUESTS
If you would like to receive updates via email when we receive a new requests for face masks or other items,
please sign up for our mailing list here.