Week-long handmade mask drive begins in Minnesota

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT)– A statewide week-long homemade mask drive begins Saturday in Minnesota. The Governor and Lt. Governor are encouraging Minnesotans to create masks to be donated to congregate living facilities.

On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people can donate the masks to their local fire department. All 775 fire departments in the state are participating. Firefighters will then deliver the masks to area congregate living facilities for employees and residents to wear.

“Those working in congregate living facilities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Tim Walz, in a statement. “While homemade masks will not replace personal protective equipment, they go a long way in preventing the wearer’s germs from infecting others. I am asking Minnesota’s crafters, sewers, and creatives to step up and help out their community.”

The masks should righty enclose the area around the nose and mouth, and extend onto the check beyond the corners of the mouth. The mask material should be tightly woven but breathable.

Some of the suggested materials include:

  • An outer layer tea cloth
  • An inner layer of a microfleece to wick away moisture
  • Use an accordion fold to mimic a hospital mask as much as possible
  • Use a fat woven shoelace type material to bind the sides (such as quilt binding)
  • For straps, use elastic straps that loop behind the ears.

“As Minnesotans, we have always come together to help each other through hard times. Wearing a mask is one of the ways we can protect each other,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, in a statement. “I am grateful for Minnesotans’ time, generosity, and talent, and I look forward to seeing the donations come in next Saturday.”

More information on how to create the masks can be found on Minnesota’s state website.