PW Mask Brigade Makes 2,000 Fabric Masks

Mask making runs in the family…an assemblyline works best here; cutting, sewing and pressing.

Fifty-two volunteers in Port Washington came together to make close to 2,000 fabric masks for local at-risk families, through the Mask Brigade effort, a project of the PW Community Chest COVID-19 Community Response Fund.  The masks were donated to outreach families at Our Lady of Fatima, EOC/Port Washington Community Action Council, Port Washington Parent Resource Center, Littig House Community Center and St. Peter of Alcantara, Social Ministry.

Under the coordination of volunteer Betsy Liegey, and with the help of cutters and seamstresses, the Port Washington Mask Brigade created washable 3-layer face masks.  Donations of fabric, elastic and more from the Port Washington community enabled the crew to stay hard at work.  Spectrum Suds, a program of Spectrum Designs Foundation, washed and steamed them and they are now in the hands of our grateful outreach families.

“The Mask Brigade did an amazing job, creating masks for our outreach families here in Port Washington,” said Betsy Liegey. “They opened up their hearts to neighbors in need and gave their time (and a lot of it) to make fabric face masks that were distributed through the Community Chest Port Washington COVID-19 Community Response humanitarian effort.   It just shows what an incredible community we have here in Port.”

A rainbow of colors for the PW Mask Brigade.

Lourdes Taglialatela, Director of the Parish Social Ministry at St Peter of Alcantara RC Church had this to say about the Port Washington Mask Brigade and its donation of face masks: “The masks from the Port Washington Mask Brigade have been a God-send to the families that we serve here at St. Peter of Alcantara’s Outreach.  We have been able to supply our 105+ families totaling over 330 people with 3 or more mask each!  Adults and children alike love them for their colorful patterns. They are very well-made, and even more meaningful because they were made with love and concern for one’s neighbor.”

The Mask Brigade began with a problem in need of a solution.  Disposable paper face masks are expensive and not readily available and families in low-income areas are more at-risk for catching COVID-19.  A brigade is a military term that refers to a group of individuals working together for a particular purpose.  The PW Mask Brigade rose to this challenge and through its efforts, helped fight off COVID-19 in Port Washington.

Thank you gifts lined up on the porch for the many volunteers who gave hours and hours to cutting fabric and creating the beautiful fabric masks. (Photos courtesy of Betsy Liegey)

The Mask Brigade was coordinated by the Community Chest and the Port Washington COVID-19 Community Response working group. The most vital project of the relief effort is the PW COVID-19 Community Response Fund which is being used to make COVID-19 emergency grants for food needs, housing costs and other expenses to existing community and faith-based organizations that have strong experience supporting local families. Donations for the PW COVID-19 Community Response Fund are being collected through the Community Chest website and a GoFundMe campaign

100 percent of donations are going to organizations helping Port Washington residents impacted by this public health crisis.

“Providing masks to Port residents is incredibly important to help keep residents safe and we thank the many volunteers that made this possible,” said Julie Meer, Executive Director of the Community Chest.  “We are continuing to address needs of Port residents impacted by this public health crisis by providing food, housing assistance and more –and we encourage you to donate generously to the PW COVID-19 Community Response Fund.”



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