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Tampa Bay Mask Project brings people together to help healthcare workers

Posted: 8:34 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 08:47:51-04
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, communities are still finding ways to come together while spending their time apart.

The Mask Project Tampa Bay is proving that we live in a very generous communitiy. So far, the group has more than 1,300 people across 11 communities to sew thousands of masks for our healthcare workers.

"Seeing everyone come together has been mind blowing," explains Danielle Sullivian, co-creator of the Mask Project Tampa Bay.

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The Facebook group continues to grow as many more people see the impact it's having.

“We’re under resourced, we don’t have everything we need to do our jobs,” says Craig Bryan, a local nurse in Pinellas County.

Communities across Tampa Bay are now coming together, learning to sew and doing it all for a good cause.

“You wouldn’t send a solider to war without bullets, you wouldn’t send a firefighter to fight a fire without any water and we are facing a complication right now," says Bryan.

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Even though the masks may not be the N95 masks healthcare workers should be wearing, "it doesn’t eliminate your risk but it certainly can take a role in helping to reduce it to some degree," says Bryan.

The sewers are getting creative, too. Using air filters or vacuum filters to put in the masks to help keep our heroes safe.

“They have the respirator mask on and they can interchange the cover throughout their shift so they can wear one with one patient and take it off,” explains Sullivan.

At last check, they've had more than 5,000 requests for masks.

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“That right there tells you the sense of urgency and need for this,” explains Sullivan

They're working with local organizations to get them to the right people.

“They’re doing their best to try to give us something. They’re trying to do something to help the nurses, to help the patients," says Bryan.

If you can help, click here to visit the group on Facebook. They will put you in touch with a point person near you to help distribute your masks.

Hospitals accepting donations:

  • TGH- Did not return our request for comment
  • Baycare- Did not return our request for comment
  • Advent Health- Did not return our request for comment
  • VA- Working on a plan for donations
  • Johns Hopkins Children's Medical Center- Food or other donations, people can feel free to contact our Foundation: 727-767-4199 or visit https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/Giving.