The Tillamook County Face Mask Project has delivered 1,200 face masks in two and a half weeks. The Facebook group has streamlined production and joined forces with Tillamook County Creamery Association and Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service to provide face masks to medical workers, those with underlying medical conditions, law enforcement, retail workers, and more.
Nicole Bringuel is running dispatch and making sure the masks get delivered to where they need to go. She said the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s employees are making masks and helping with delivery. The OSU Extension has a 4-H sewing club and kids will be sewing face masks.
“We’ve streamlined production,” Bringuel said. “We have people cutting material, people sewing material, people who are completing the face masks, and then we have delivery people.”
Bringuel said there are now more volunteers to divide up the work. More community vendors have become involved. Hurd’s Upholstery has been donating materials, a construction company made a $150 donation, a man donated $100, and Sheldon Oil Company donated almost $200 worth of gas gift cards for the drivers who deliver the face masks to the community.
The face mask project has delivered over 100 masks to law enforcement. Masks were also given to Tillamook Fire Department, Garibaldi Fire, Rockaway Beach Fire, Bay City Fire, to the jail, and 50-60 masks to the Oregon Youth Authority. Dutch Bros. received masks, restaurants in Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi, Nehalem Animal Healing, Nehalem Bay House, Griffith’s Place, Kilchis House, Center Market in Rockaway Beach and Bay City, and community members. Masks also continue to go out to Adventist Health.
“We are now starting a huge project for Fred Meyer and Safeway employees, which will be a total of about 400 masks for them,” Bringuel said.
Frontline workers, EMS, law enforcement and hospitals are top priority for the project to deliver masks to. Anyone in the community who has health issues, is immune-compromised, or elderly come up next on the radar, and then the rest of the community. 80 masks were delivered to the homeless.
“We’re running Hebo, Pacific City, Cloverdale, Netarts, Tillamook, Bay City, Garibaldi, Rockaway, Nehalem and Manzanita,” Bringuel said. “That’s sort of our Tillamook County that we are serving right now.”
Bringuel stressed that they do not charge for these masks or accept payment for them.
“We’re not out there charging,” Bringuel said. “There are some other people making masks in the community that are charging for them and we want to make sure people know this is donated out of Tillamook Creamery partnering with us and other community partners, because we want to see the community and county of Tillamook taken care of and have the personal protective equipment they need.”
The project is on target to make 250 masks a week to be delivered. Tillamook Creamery purchased 15 sewing machines.
“OSU, their teams are going to try to commit to I believe 40 masks a week or more,” Bringuel said. “They have 40 students in the program that will be getting a kit from us of all the materials they need to sew a face mask.”
Bringuel said the group will hand the students a kit to make 20 masks and give them a new kit when they are finished.
The group is currently working with Netarts and Nestucca and some of the outlining fire departments and the Coast Guard recently put in an order, Bringuel said. An order has also come in from Marie Mills.
Anyone who wants to request masks, the group is happy to help.
“After these few last big orders, we will make sure the community is taken care of,” Bringuel said.
People have put in their own money to help make this possible.
“We’ve delivered to most of the restaurants that are open in Rockaway and we will provide for anyone here in Tillamook that would like a mask,” Bringuel said. “We will continue to get them out into the community.”
Linda Machuta is spearheading the project. The group started because Machuta’s roommate works for urgent care and discussed the lack of face masks available. Muchuta saw this as a need. She put a post out in the county asking people to help make face masks for medical personnel, non-essential businesses, and anyone will immune-compromised or underlying medical issues. The project has since become bigger, better and faster.
“There is no way that I couldn’t do this without my son Dylan,” Bringuel said. “He has really helped a lot in the project.”
Bringuel said a lot of husbands are helping in the project. Some are helping cut things to be sewn. This has been a community, as well as a family effort.
“It’s been really nice to see the community open up and take on this project head on because we have a lot of people to serve and we are still getting masks out to our hospital,” Bringuel said. “What I’m understanding is that Tillamook Adventist is trying to get masks out to people that are immune-compromised that we’re not seeing, so we keep a steady supply going to them.”
If people would like to donate, they can do so with gift cards or materials such as fabric, thread, or elastic, Bringuel said. You can email the group at email@example.com to make arrangements for pickup.