Million Mask Mayday aims to help with national face mask shortage

Million Mask MayDay

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — A Colorado physician has created a national campaign to get people in every state to sew face masks for medical professionals. In Indiana, six people across the state have started the project. 

Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and dental offices all need face masks. Right now, there is a shortage across the country. But Dr. Kelly Sennholz decided to create a spreadsheet of those who want to sew in every state to make homemade masks. It’s called Million Mask Mayday and started on Facebook. 

Dr. Sennholz says the perfect mask has two layers. The inside layer has a place for a pocket for additional filtration. It also uses ties instead of elastic. Dr. Sennholz says ties are more beneficial to medical professionals because when you wear elastic around your ears, you can end up getting blisters which is an open place you risk infection. 

The longtime physician created a document on the Facebook page where sewers can add their contact information and begin the project. 

Dr. Sennholz says we need 3.5 billion masks in the United States to get us through the next few weeks. She says without the masks, people will become sick. 

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“They’re desperate for help right now and they cannot work without this equipment and although a homemade mask is not perfect, it’s actually very good,” she said. “It can stop the droplets from landing on their face and mouth where the mucus membranes are that can take up the virus so these masks are actually very good. Some day our federal government will get their act together and get masks. In the meantime, our medical people need help.”

IU Health says those interested in donating supplies should contact the IU Health Supply Chain Operations. They’re looking for respiratory masks, facial and eye protection, hand sanitizer and general personal protective equipment like gloves and observation gowns. 

The IU Health Supply Chain Operations team will work directly with individuals and companies to assess each donation including homemade/home-sewn supplies. 

To learn more about Million Mask Mayday, click here.