Local group steps up to help area healthcare professionals


Special to The Flash

Kiela Whitten, a paramedic with an up close view herself, knew the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) shortage facing healthcare professionals. So she started Face Masks for Erath group to help fight that shortage.

“I started this group in hopes that we could supply fabric face mask covers to all healthcare professionals in Erath County, who may be reusing their employee issued masks multiple times before disposal,” said Whitten. “The fabric face mask covers that are being made in our group are not intended to be worn alone but will be worn over professional grade masks such as a N95, to prevent soiling. Once we meet the needs of our healthcare professionals, we will continue to seek out individuals serving in other capacities within our community. If you can benefit from having a mask cover, we want to help get one to you.”

The group currently has a goal of 1,000 face mask covers, and Whitten said they are nearing a halfway point to that goal already. However, they have quite a bit of material distributed to seamstresses (and seamsters) right now and anticipate that number to be higher very soon. 

“I am blown away by the efforts of men and women in our community who have come together for this project,” Whitten said. “Literally dozens who have donated supplies, money, time, and talent. Have you seen some of the pictures of work our members are doing? It’s hard not to be emotional when you see our community come together like this.”

Whitten said she found a very fitting picture of Rosie the Riveter with surgical mask on. The caption says “It’s time again, Rosie. Time to sew.”

“I know it may seem cheesy, but it’s true,” she said. “While healthcare professionals are at war with this virus, this is what our community can do together in the background to support them.”

If anyone wants to join in, please search for “Face Masks for Erath” on Facebook. They can set you up with supplies if you don’t have your own or can use you in another way if you don’t sew.  

 The group currently has drop of points for donated supplies/finished masks at:

  • Erath County Sheriff’s office lobby (tote is outside the door)
  • Dublin City Hall entrance (tote is inside the door)

Monetary donations can be sent via Paypal to kw_whitten90@yahoo.com

Requests to receive masks can be emailed to masksforerath@yahoo.com. Please include your facility name and number of masks your need. 

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