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Tampa mask makers deliver more than 26,000 masks in a month

Posted at 5:25 AM, Apr 30, 2020

When we first told you in March about the Mask Project Tampa Bay, it was really just getting started.

Now, the group has more than 5,000 people and is delivering thousands of masks.

"I wasn't sure what was going to happen. We were so overwhelmed and within a couple of weeks, we were at like 20,000 requests," says Danielle Sullivan. "I thought this might as well be like infinity."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa Bay Mask Project brings people together to help healthcare workers

In the past month, they've had more than $10,000 in donations, made more than 26,000 masks and had requests for about 30,000 masks.

Their efforts even got the attention of Kelly Clarkson, who donated to the cause.

Founder Danielle Sullivan says the requests for masks are starting to slow down. But, that doesn't mean their mission is.

She says the seamstresses are the real MVPs.

"They haven't given up, they're so determined. I definitely thought at this point that everyone would be burnt out, but everyone is in great spirits," says Sullivan. "Still so supportive, still getting donations in, still helping take care of each other in every way. I think aside from the numbers, it's the way the community has gone above and beyond for us."

Right now, they're still working on about 4,000 requests for masks, from police departments to people in the community who are immunocompromised.

Now, they're partnering with Tampa Hackerspace and the Glazer Museum to help make kits for masks.

They are asking for the Halyard 8600 material. It's a type of wrapping that hospitals use and often discard.

They've also started making a type of face shield using a thin acrylic, which they could also use donations of.

"We're going to keep trying to contribute in any way we can," says Sullivan.

So even if you don't sew, there are ways you can join the group and help.

They're writing letters and kids are making artwork to send to people in assisted living facilities.

You can join the group on Facebook by clicking here.