We're sure you have questions.
Most of the time, we do too, but we’re working to supply the answers as quickly as possible. The answers that we do know are below. If you’re just learning about us, they’re a great place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help?
The best place to start is with our volunteer application! Just click this link to get to the form.
Can I donate money to help buy supplies?
- Yes! You can donate with any major credit card here on our website, or donate through PayPal here.
I can only donate supplies--who do I contact?
Please fill out the Volunteer & Donations form, and someone from our team will be in touch!
Where do I drop off my completed masks?
- Find your closest drop off location here.
Can I just drop off my completed masks at the hospital where my friend/family member works?
We have a couple of reasons why that’s not the most ideal route…
- We are trying to make this process as zero-human-contact as possible. Facilities don’t want us there if we are not sick! We have appointed a small crew of specific persons that can serve as the “last leg” of the delivery chain to reduce the number of people that can be exposed to potential contamination.
- SMAH-Atlanta is attempting to track every yard of fabric that is procured for production and mask that is completed by our amazing sewists. If some slip through the tracking system, we are not able to report accurate numbers to our family of sewists and our community. Every mask counts!
How can I find out how many masks have been completed?
Check out the Live Tracker!
Do I need to include anything with my completed masks?
Yes! Please print and include this form. If you do not have access to a printer, a handwritten form printed legibly with the same information is great!
We have been told to shelter in place. How will that affect supply and mask distribution?
The admins of SMAH Atlanta are working to create a handout that drivers can carry with them on their route that explains the mission and purpose of the organization. While this is not a legal permit in any capacity, it helps officials understand the essential nature of our work in this time of crisis.
Can I submit my own pattern for making masks?
We have been asking our sewists to please adhere to the patterns listed in the Files section of the main SMAH Atlanta group. The facilities with needs we are working to fill have vetted these patterns. Click here for the current pattern selections.
Can I make headbands or scrub caps instead?
At this time we are limiting our focus to the most needed item, masks. As our family of sewists grows and we have more resources to devote, we are open to expanding our projects to include other items for production.
Can I start an SMAH group for my county or region, or even in another state?
Absolutely! Please contact Kelly Whitfield Bradley via Facebook Messenger. We are still working hard to streamline the features of the main group but are planning to get regional groups up and going ASAP!
How can I get my facility signed up to receive masks?
If you represent a facility and are able to distribute over the entire facility and would like to contact us for a work request, please have them PM Kayla Hittig or email her at KaylaKissane@gmail.com! If you are not the facility contact that can distribute over the entire facility, please find this contact’s information.
Do you only make masks for hospitals?
No! We are working hard to provide masks for long-term care homes, first responders, animal care facilities, and smaller medical offices.
Is it necessary to sew a filter into the face masks?
Not necessary. Materials are short, so as long as you have a tightly woven, 100% cotton fabric (like a quilter’s cotton) you would be fine. If you choose to make the pattern options that have pockets for filters, it does leave that option open for the facilities to add their own filter, which is great.
Is the aim to make a mask to go over an N95 mask or surgical mask?
Yes. And also to give to patients to wear (since they can launder them). The healthcare personnel (HCP) know this isn’t the best answer, but any mask is better than none right now.
What does the CDC say about homemade fabric masks?
Healthcare personnel (HCP) use of homemade masks:
In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.
Healthcare systems are reaching the “crisis” stage and are requesting homemade alternatives in high demand.
What fabric should I use?
- Most common requested material is 2 layers of woven cotton or cotton with a cotton lining for the body of the mask (aka the part that goes over the face). Cotton is breathable, comfortable, and doesn’t lead to eyewear fogging up like some synthetics do. It also stands up to harsh sanitizing.
- For the ties, you can use a cotton or poly/cotton blend. Other materials for ties include twill tape, bias tape (if possible, top stitch it to reduce stretch), double fold tape, or grosgrain ribbon if it can be tied securely and not slip out of a knot (some kinds are “slippery”). Please do not use satin ribbon for ties, as it does not stay tied securely.
- Elastic for ear loops or behind-the-head straps should be around ¼” wide. Foldover elastic also works if it is around or less than ⅝” wide. Strips of t-shirt material cut 1.5” wide and gently pulled to roll the edges also make decent ties. EXPOSED LATEX SHOULD NOT BE USED–ex: bungee cording that has been deconstructed, or rubber bands.
What if I want to include a filter in my own personal mask? What do I do?
Materials and filtration information can be found in this article.
My Facebook post hasn't been approved yet/was declined. Why?
We are still building and training the volunteer staff and sometimes submissions can take a little while to be approved. Sometimes it’s because we want to have the best answer possible ready to go when we post it, so others can learn as well! Sometimes we decline identical posts that have been submitted several times by different members.
What's the most important thing to remember?
That you are appreciated and we are so grateful that you are here!