"Better Than Nothing" Mask© Project

In these extraordinary times many people are feeling hopeless and like there is nothing they can do to help with the Covid-19 outbreak other than to stay at home.

Our communities of elderly and other “high risk” people are completely exposed as is the general population when they are out in public as the virus can survive up to 3 hours in the air. If every person in our country wore a mask outside the home, we would greatly reduce the spread.
A complicating factor is that important materials needed to make masks are already in short supply. Most of our nation’s need for fabric and elastic bands is currently filled by factories overseas and there is uncertainty about their availability in the short term. It is currently almost impossible to obtain elastic bands in our community.
Because many people in the fashion and creative businesses are now completely out of work and the need for masks is so great, I have decided to commit my surplus inventory of manufactured clothing and accessories toward the effort to make masks for no charge for our community.
For example, I am cutting up my supply of 3000+ Santa Headbands to salvage the elastic bands needed for the masks. My inventory is valued at approximately $20,000 but I see that these parts could be put to greater use for our immediate greater good.
I have enlisted the help of Julie Kehne who recently launched a clothing company and has an inventory of suitable materials that can be repurposed. She is willing to commit $18,000 of cotton jersey and woven materials at a time when she has no income coming in.
In addition, my jeweler friend Sarah Cavender is committing her expertise and materials to create metal pieces that can be incorporated into the masks to ensure a tighter fit.
It is not our intention to make masks that will “guarantee” anyone that they will be protected from the virus in the air or on surfaces. But we are certain that our masks will help prevent the spread of infected people to others by containing coughs and sneezes and other exhalations to some extent and prevent people from touching their faces. Because the virus is shed by even asymptomatic people, getting masks on everyone out in public is crucially important.
We will be making our masks based on guidance by the CDC with insights from designers in the Netherlands. I have already made prototypes that are being beta tested by my beloved letter carrier and my friend who is a first responder. All artists are volunteering their time and expertise to make high-quality, washable masks that are resuable.

We project that we can make over 1500 masks with our current materials.
In order to compensate the out-of-work artists and creatives for their contributions of materials that they are pulling out of the stream of commerce for this important purpose, I am asking for your financial help.

I will use the funds to compensate people for their donated materials and to ensure that no one is left without any income to meet their need for food and shelter. This is not an effort to profit off of this terrible event, but I don’t feel good about asking people to forego their future income by donating materials if I can’t compensate them.
Thank you for considering this appeal.


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Bridget Faricy 
Saint Paul, MN
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