The Tillamook County Face Mask Project is working to make face masks for medical personnel, retail workers, and anyone else in the community who is wanting a mask. This project began as a Facebook group about two weeks ago.
Nicole Bringuel is running dispatch and making sure the masks get delivered to where they need to go. She said Linda Machuta is spearheading the project. It 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. Ideally, the organization would like to get all of Tillamook covered.
Bringuel said there are two groups going right now. One in Rockaway, titled Sewing, and The Tillamook County Face Mask Project, based out of Bay City, which is trying to cover Rockaway, Nehalem, Tillamook, all the way down to Pleasant Valley and Cloverdale. Local churches are also making masks.
“We’ve had requests from one of the churches for 100 masks for the homeless, so we’re trying to get that worked out and over to that church,” Bringuel said.
They have made deliveries to Chevron, Tillamook Co-op and more. A lot of people in the community are participating.
“I’m getting ready to put a post up asking for more people to volunteer for sewing or if they can get some good quality thread and bias tape that has been sold out in the area,” Bringuel said.
Bringuel said the masks are of cotton material, heavy duty material, that has been coming from Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, who is donating fabric. They are making both children and adult masks. Some are making pockets to put extra Kleenex. Some people can sew the masks in its entirety, while others do individual steps. There are pre-cutters, people who make ties, etc.
People in the community are stepping up and using whatever material they have to make these cloth masks, Bringuel said, while following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of how to make masks.
“Just your basic residents in the community that can sew that say ‘hey I can help,’” Bringuel said. “We’ve arranged for two drivers; one on the south end, one on the north end and what they do is they go by and get the masks off the porch in a plastic bag and people are washing them ahead of time to sterilize, so they’re just ready to go.”
At the same time, drivers are dropping off materials to make more masks.
“If people want to make donations, donations are accepted,” Bringuel said. “We need good quality thread. The kind of thread that can hold up to being washed.”
Bringuel said donations of bias tape and fabric are also needed.
400 masks are needed in the community, Bringuel said.
“10 went to the oncology group at Adventist Health, we’ve had masks go to Urgent Care, we are getting ready to send more out to the community for people who are compromised,” Bringuel said. “We have maybe about 100 masks now.”
The project has a list going and people can go to the Facebook group and post what they need, tagging Nicole Bringuel in the post.
Bringuel said they are prioritizing seniors and anyone with underlying medical conditions. A child with leukemia has requested a mask. Fred Meyers would like all staff to have masks, but the project is prioritizing the pharmacy so people can feel comfortable getting their medication.
“Everybody is working as fast as possible,” Bringuel said.