Since its inception in March 2020, SMAH has led the way in coordinating volunteer sewists who, following CDC guidelines, craft surgical-style masks and N95 mask covers for healthcare professionals, essential workers and vulnerable members of our community. From its grassroots beginnings, SMAH has quickly grown into a regional organization with affiliate chapters across the Southeast.
/so – ist/n.
a beloved person of any gender,
age, race, creed or ability who
creates homemade masks with ❤️️
On a weekend in late March, in response to the growing COVID-19 threat in metro Atlanta, Kirsten Hawkins, Kayla Hittig and Gina Livingston began separate Facebook campaigns to coordinate sewists making homemade masks for local healthcare professionals. Their parallel efforts quickly brought them together, and they joined forces as one organization — Sewing Masks for Area Hospitals. Two days later, after an article about SMAH appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the fledgling Facebook group added 2000 members, and by the end of April grew to over 8000 followers from across the U.S. and abroad. In that brief time, SMAH built an entire supply chain, beginning with raw material collection and distribution to hundreds of volunteer sewists and culminating in delivery of thousands of completed masks to requesting healthcare facilities.
In addition, the all-volunteer SMAH adminstration team has lent their expertise and leadership to numerous affiliate chapters throughout the state of Georgia, as well as Alabama, southern Mississippi and central Florida. The team regularly fields requests for information and support throughout the country and from as far away as Australia.
Kirsten, Kayla and Gina say every day that they look forward to the time when there will no longer be a need for SMAH, but as long as COVID-19 continues to be a threat, SMAH will exist to provide PPE for the medical professionals who so desperately need it.