Volunteers help make hundreds of masks a day

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 6:14 PM EDT
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As the need for masks grows, multiple businesses have joined together with a mask distribution organization called Gainesville Covid Masks.

We'll show you how a vehicle improvement shop in Gainesville we showcased last month has been helping the cause.

At Gainesville Sound Trim and Tint, they're using donated material usually used for wrapping surgical equipment into hundreds of masks a day.

Shawn Brandow is a co-owner of the business who explained, "our highest mask day was a little over 500, our best average was around 420. Now we're trying to scale back just a hair and we think 360 between me and my partner is something we can achieve daily without wearing ourselves out."

The masks are for sale as well as for donations.

Pegeen Hanrahan is the Volunteer Coordinator for Gainesville Covid Masks, she said "we are donating material to them that has been paid for by donors to the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. They're making and selling masks and for every one they sell we're donating one back out to someone in need."

Brandow says they've had to get creative especially for the mask straps.

"We reached out to a roller skate supply company and they supplied us with roller-skate laces, they're longer than a regular shoelace so we can cut them down and get even more masks out of them."

TV20's Landon Harrar reported, "they make around 400 masks a day but they're not the only ones locally doing so. There are more than 40 sewists who are making masks all being donated to the Gainesville Covid Masks organization and those then are being distributed to individuals and businesses who need them."

And Hanrahan says the requests for masks keep rolling in

"We have had at this moment more than 400 individual requests totaling over 39-thousand masks. Now many aren't requests we can fill because they're from out of town or they're just too large.

Hanrahan says sewists as they call themselves have been making multiple styles of masks and Gainesville Covid Masks distributes in accordance to need. She believes they've stockpiled enough to make 90-thousand masks or more and they're always accepting more volunteers to help get to that number.