Bhutanese Mask Making Initiative

With the current public health guidelines and city requirements to wear fabric face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many communities are still in need of these masks or the resources to make them. The Bhutanese refugee community of Springfield, MA, is one such community that I have had the pleasure of working with to promote health and wellbeing over the last three years. Unfortunately,  Springfield, MA is experiencing a surge of both COVID-19 cases and unemployment, with several known COVID-19 cases amongst the Bhutanese. These individuals do not have the resources needed to protect themselves and others.

What can we do?

Rather than rallying friends and family to help buy or make the masks for them, my colleague Bhuwan Gautam from the Bhutanese community and I have instead created a capacity-building initiative. Our aim is not only to facilitate widespread distribution of masks for the community, but also to empower local community members to make the masks and most importantly, get paid for their work. 

How will this happen?

We will purchase the supplies needed to make the masks, including fabric, elastic, and needle and thread. We will train women and men from the community remotely to make the masks at home. Materials to make the masks will cost approximately 40 cents per mask and we will buy the masks back at $2 each, which will be paid directly to the mask-makers.  We will then arrange for distribution of these masks to local Bhutanese community groups, health centers, service agencies, and directly to family homes at no-cost: the masks will be free for individuals from the community. 

How can you help?

We need your support to raise the funds to purchase the materials and then to buy the masks from the people who make them. Our goal is to raise $2,000. We expect that the community can produce upwards of 800 masks. Your gift will not only help save lives but will help empower the hardworking people in the Bhutanese community. Please help. Every dollar counts.

Thank you <3
  • Michele Mold 
    • $500 
    • 24 mos
  • Christine and Tim 
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
  • Rachel Fogelberg  
    • $15 
    • 25 mos
  • Sarah Ivory 
    • $35 
    • 25 mos
  • Rebecca Fien 
    • $40 
    • 25 mos
See all


Jenna Berent 
Cambridge, MA