’NRV Mask Makers’ Facebook Group helps lead to the creation of 10,000 masks

Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 6:48 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - 10,000 masks - that’s how many have been made since one woman started an NRV Mask Makers Facebook Group in mid-March.

It all started when Carol Davis from Blacksburg decided to share on Facebook a video tutorial on how to make a mask at home.

“And I just said, I’m interested in making some of these, I think maybe there’s going to be some shortages, maybe we as a community should start thinking about this, [I got] a huge amount of interest in that,” Davis, the creator of the NRV Mask Makers Group, said.

So she created a separate Facebook Group called NRV Mask Makers. She quickly began researching effective mask patterns and materials and shared that info with the members.

“And so really in just about a month, we built kind of an army of local mask makers,” Davis said.

The idea is to get a mask to anyone who needs one. It’s safe to say the page has been successful - it has over 600 members and, just this week, Davis says her members have now officially made over 10,000 masks.

“It’s a huge amount of masks, and I think what has been most gratifying and surprising is, yes, initially there was a huge amount of interest, but people have really stuck with it,” Davis said.

Including one mask maker, Richard Hammer, who has been 3D printing them.

“Knowing the community can come together and solve a problem, that’s what Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the New River Valley has always done, we’re really good at finding that and articulating that, and knowing we can do that in this vein is spectacular,” Hammer said.

And members aren’t just making the masks. They’re also helping donate and distribute materials.

“I think it’s been an opportunity for people to feel useful ... And we celebrate when we reach milestones,” Holly Lesko, a member of the NRV Mask Makers Group who helps direct volunteers, said.

The group is certainly celebrating now.

“It just blew up and turned into this enormous community organization, that I think is going to be lasting even after this pandemic is over. We’ve really shown that we know how to come together and organize,” Davis said.

Davis said members will continue to make masks as long as there is a need for them.

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can join the NRV Mask Makers Facebook Group for more information.

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