Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation
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News Release
Lake Oswego Lions Generate Masks for the Community - 11/16/20

Everyone’s life has been affected by COVID-19, a major social/community problem since mid-March 2020. One of the worst parts of this pandemic is the feeling of helplessness and an inability to do anything. The Lake Oswego Lions Club quickly researched ways to help our community stay safer and feel better at home, in public and at work. The club quickly determined that providing reusable fabric masks to people in the community would be the best way to help. The first step was to prioritize who to provide the masks to- essential service providers (healthcare providers, first responders, store staff, bus drivers, etc.), high risk citizens (elderly, those with underlying conditions) and the general public to help the most people as quickly as possible.

As of September, the Lake Oswego Lions, with the help of other volunteers from the community, have provided people of their community, and surrounding communities with over 3,200 masks. They have over 100 masks ready to give and another 500 mask kits ready to sew. The Lake Oswego Lions have also created a number of training videos to extend mask making to other organizations locally, across the nation and around the world. All of this has been done primarily with donated supplies including fabric, thread, skills, time and sewing machines. Elastic is the supply that has to be purchased to date and has been purchased using money donated to the club by people who have received masks.

The system effectively uses volunteer’s skills by using an “assembly” line: 1) wash, dry and iron the material; 2) cut fabric into manageable sizes 2 layers thick; 3) cut the fabric into 9-12” squares based on the mask size; 4) trace the pattern on the fabric and cut so full mask ready to sew; 5) sew the mask; 6) add the elastic; 7) distribute to requesters and those who are most vulnerable. They also have a side slot on both sides so that an additional filter (i.e. paper coffee filter) can be added to increase the masks effectiveness). The masks have metal at the top of the nose such as a large paper clip so that the mask stays snug on nose. They are easy to straighten, readily available, inexpensive and don’t rust. Using plastic results in melting. This metal is sewn into the mask. The masks are designed to go under the chin.

These masks are ranked 65-75% effective in prevention of spreading COVID-19. If all people are wearing similar masks, they are rated 75- 85% effective. These masks have been provided to grocery store workers, mass transit bus drivers, essential services workers and the general community. These masks are also very comfortable for elderly friends and family in their homes or assisted living facilities.

A November 11, 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control reported that wearing a face covering, particularly a surgical type mask, an N-95 mask or a multi-layer fabric mask not only protects others from the wearer, but that it protects the wearer from others.

Given the growing numbers of confirmed and presumed cases of Covid-19 in Oregon as well as all over America and the world, infectious disease experts are recommending that everyone wear a quality face covering for the foreseeable future. These quality multi-layer cotton masks with added filter capacity are comfortable to wear and easy to assemble by any group from a service organization, like a Lions Club, a church or a circle of friend. Those in need of these masks are always grateful.

The Lake Oswego Lions and Lions all over the world encourage everyone to wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain social distance and simply stay safe.

 Contact Gretchen Olson via email at gretchenolson@icloud.com


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