Update: August 15, 2020
Hello wonderful Mask Brigadiers,
When we started the Seattle Mask Brigade back in March, we wanted to fill a temporary gap while the need for PPE was critical and supply chains weren't up and running yet. We couldn't have imagined how great the need would be, how many masks we would distribute, and how long we would be doing this. You probably felt the same way when you first signed up to volunteer! Yet here we are, six months and over 50,000 masks later.
We don't have to tell you that we're nowhere near finished with this pandemic, but our region is now in a much better place in terms of PPE supply. Requests to the Seattle Mask Brigade have been slowing down for some time, and our government and nonprofit partners have been able to reliably provide more masks to folks in need.
We have made the decision to wind down our operations, at least for now - hibernating, not closing. Should the need for PPE pick back up and start getting ahead of supply again, we'll be ready to spring (or at least lumber) back into action.
In the meanwhile, we are including some links below for people who may need PPE, or wish to contribute in the interim. Our email remains firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. And finally, thank you all -- the donors, the volunteers, and the groups who have been using donated PPE to help serve communities in need.
INTERESTED IN 3D PRINTING MASKS, FACE SHIELDS, & OTHER PPE?
There are instructions for projects that have been reviewed & approved by medical professionals at www.getusppe.org/makers
In the Seattle area, Masks for Docs has been working on establishing distribution channels for "maker PPE": https://masksfordocs.com
There is a national Facebook group organizing under Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies, which has local affiliates across the country. There are other great designs for mask extenders, tyvek gown patterns, etc: click here
OTHER MASK BRIGADES
Some other brigades or similar efforts:
Bellingham WA (Whatcom & Skagit Counties): https://bellinghammakerspace.org/
Bay Area: https://getmeppe-sfbay.org
Los Angeles: http://bit.ly/lamaskbrigade
DC Metro/Northern VA: https://sites.google.com/view/nova-mask-brigade
NYC (Long Island City): https://www.facebook.com/Mask-Drive-Long-Island-City-102521158062572/
San Diego: https://bit.ly/sdmaskbrigade
CA Northern Coast: https://sites.google.com/view/north-coast-mask-donations/
What Mask Type Should I Be Using? What are the different types of N-95 Masks?
The Centers for Disease Control have provided a Frequently Asked Questions document about Personal Protective Equipment including N-95 respirator masks: click here
About the Seattle Mask Brigade
We are a very small group of volunteers who organized to fill a temporary need for N-95 respirator masks in our hard working healthcare and social service communities. When we started in March of 2020, masks were in very short supply in many area hospitals and nursing homes. In the 6 months we operated, we worked with donors and volunteers to collect and distribute over 50,000 masks to residents of King County and western Washington.
The good news is that emergency operations systems and PPE supply chains have mostly come on line. Our hope from the very beginning was to become obsolete. It took about 6 months, but we finally trust that the system for PPE supply is largely working, so we are taking a well-needed rest, but are ready to stand up again if we see the situation deteriorate again.
Seattle Mask Brigade in the News
An article about the start of the Seattle Mask Brigade: https://www.fulllifecare.org/the-mask-brigade
Interview on BBC World Service (0:34 minutes in): click here
Buzzfeed: "Medical Workers Need Masks So A Grassroots Army Is Checking Basements, Garages, And Warehouses": click here
Daily Hive (3/18/20): "Volunteers are collecting N-95 masks to donate to Seattle hospitals": click here
CBS News (3/21/20): "How to donate personal protective equipment like masks and gloves to health care workers": click here
Business Insider (3/24/20): "People are donating their face masks in droves": click here
Seattle P-I (3/30/20): "It's National Doctors' Day -- here's how you can support healthcare workers in Seattle": click here
107.7 The End (3/30/20): "Call to Help: The Seattle Mask Brigade Needs Your N95's": click here
UW News (4/3/20): "Huskies rally to support COVID-19 need for masks, child care": click here
Parade Magazine (4/4/20): "How to Donate PPE to Health Care Workers on the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Crisis": click here
KUOW (4/7/20): "The Seattle Mask Brigade steps into the PPE breach": click here