As of June 16th, 2020, Sewing Masks for Area Hospitals is on temporary hiatus. We have put together this FAQ to answer the most common questions related to this change.
Why is SMAH going on hiatus?
First and foremost, we have seen a significant decrease in requests from healthcare facilities over the past several weeks. As of June 12th, thanks to the hard work and passion of our volunteers, we have fulfilled all open mask requests! Additionally, since acquiring 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, SMAH’s admin team has been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that we are prepared to serve the areas of greatest need within our community. This includes formalizing our organization’s leadership structure as required by the IRS for nonprofit status and solidifying plans to resume our organization’s normal operations if and when there is a second COVID-19 wave. We are also expanding our mission to serve other (non-healthcare) essential workers and vulnerable members of our society.We remain committed to serving our community by providing assistance where it is needed most, and we are excited about the opportunities to help non-healthcare essential workers, schools, and protestors participating in the Movement for Black Lives following the death of George Floyd.
Will you still collect masks during the break?
YES! The following collection locations are open:
- Northside: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett, 12 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville
- Decatur: 3416 Burdett Court, Avondale Estates
- Poncey Highlands – Topstitch Studio: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, #225 Atlanta, 2nd Floor above Williams Sonoma in Ponce City Market
Masks delivered to these locations will be warehoused by SMAH and used to fulfill requests on an as-needed basis. The backstock of masks will also be used in case a second wave of Covid-19 hits; we will be ready!
Will you still be taking facility requests during the break?
Not formally at this time. Facilities may post on the Facebook page to see if any one/team of sewists would be willing to fulfill their request. SMAH will reach out to fulfill these requests as our warehouse allows.
Will you be providing mask kits at this time?
No. If you are in need of supplies, please post to the Facebook group. This community has been great about getting material and supplies to those in need.
What do I do if I have an SMAH mask kit, but haven’t yet sewn them?
Please finish them up and drop them to one of the three addresses listed above.
How will I know if we need to start sewing for a second wave?
We will keep you updated on our status on Facebook, other social media channels and this website.
Can you tell us more about SMAH’s Essential Workers Program?
Our focus will shift to providing support to non-healthcare essential workers as well, ex: MARTA, other transportation services, military personnel, protesters and on-site medics, schools, approved essential businesses, and community organizations that make requests.
Our process will remain the same: asking volunteers to make masks based on the number of requests. We are also looking into supporting polling locations for the November Election Day.
I’m a sewist, and I want to contribute to these efforts! How can I help?
You are more than welcome to continue sewing for:
- Non-healthcare essential workers
- Military personnel
- Protesters & on-site medics
- Schools, essential businesses and other community organizations
- Underserved communities
If you have any questions regarding masks for protestors, please send SMAH co-founder Kayla Hittig a private message on Facebook. For essential workers information or requests, please email Reanna Osler, SMAH’s Program Director for the Essential Workers Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are creating a new mask request form for the non-healthcare essential organizations listed above. This form will be made available soon.
Will SMAH continue to accept healthcare facility requests during the hiatus?
The healthcare facility-specific request form is closed right now, but we are allowing Atlanta-area facilities to post directly to our Facebook group. This way sewists within our network can coordinate directly with facilities.
We are also in the process of creating a new request form for the non-healthcare essential organizations listed above. This form will be available on this website soon.
If I want to make a "stockpile" of masks, which style should I make?
The Resources page has been updated with our recommended patterns. Ties are better for hospitals; elastic ear loops are better for assisted living facilities.
What if I want to remain a drop-off location for the new programs during the break?
SMAH will not be sending transports or organizing locations outside of the three designated drop-off points listed above. However, if there is a second wave of COVID-19, we will need your assistance once more, and we will reach out to you accordingly.
How will I know when my SMAH drop-off point is open again?
SMAH will post updated information on our website and social media platforms if we need to rally the “mask troops” to resume service to healthcare facilities. Keep an eye on our Facebook group and Instagram and Twitter feeds (@smahatlanta). In addition, we will email our original volunteers when we reopen.
What if I want to continue making masks for healthcare facilities in case there is a second wave of COVID-19?
Sewists are more than welcome to create a “stockpile” of homemade masks in order to answer facility requests during a potential second COVID-19 wave in the fall/winter.
Sewists can also network with each other via our Facebook group. Group Moderators will be available for guidance. During this hiatus, SMAH will not be responsible for the creation, delivery or quality assurance of masks being donated directly to facilities.
What if I still have mask-making materials from SMAH or partially finished masks that I can’t finish?
Post about it in the Facebook group! We encourage volunteers to share resources and helpful tips within our sewing community. It is likely that another sewist will be glad to take your materials to make masks.
Can I request a mask kit to work on my “stockpile”?
During this time, we will not be sending out additional kits. We will let the SMAH community know if and when kit requests are opened again.
Will the Facebook group close?
No. During the hiatus, we will continue to engage, educate and build our community. And we want our sewists to continue to connect with each other! We will be updating all of our social platforms and our website.
Will SMAH still accept monetary donations or donations of materials during the break?
Thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, SMAH has plenty of fabric for mask kits. If this changes, we will let the community know. You can still donate financially by clicking this link.
Is SMAH directing any funds or masks to the protestors supporting the Black Lives Matter movement?
As an official organization, SMAH is not currently directing financial contributions or coordinating the delivery of masks to the protestors. However, if you would like to support the BLM movement individually, we encourage you to do so! Please feel free to network with each other for this purpose via the Facebook group. In addition, you can send a Facebook PM to SMAH co-founder Kayla Hittig if you would like to contribute masks for the protestors.
Does SMAH have a political affiliation?
As a 501(c)(3), SMAH does not have a political affiliation. SMAH’s founders, admin team and our thousands of volunteers have one goal: to step up in times of crisis and offer humanitarian aid to those in need. That goal does not belong to any one political party.