Wright State sews, donates 900 face masks during coronavirus pandemic

Wright State University’s costume shop manager Carly Kimmins and her students have sewn and donated 900 masks to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, with hundreds more coming.

The group has been using sewing machines to create the face masks for health care workers, first repsonders and others since mid March.

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The project started when Kimmins and Kathleen Hotmer, an adjunct faculty member in costume design and costume shop manager, were asked to make masks for social workers at South Community mental health center in Moraine.

“We decided it was a really good project to do for the community and also keep our students sewing,” said Kimmins. “When students were sent off campus, we couldn’t send production work with them. Any kind of sewing projects we can have them working on keeps their abilities going.”

The masks are made by using a pattern with fabric and elastic or ties. After each mask is made it’s washed and bagged while the creator is wearing gloves.

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It takes roughly 20 minutes to make a mask, with Kimmins making about 25 a day.

Most of masks use fabric leftover from the costume shop.

“When we make costumes, we end up with all kinds of pieces that aren’t big enough for a whole costume but are too big to just throw away,” said Kimmins. “We have boxes and boxes of fabric remnants.”

So far, the group has donated 100 masks to the Dayton Fire Department, 55 to Grace Hospice and 25 to Dynamic Senior Solutions health care, as well as other organizations.

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The group has donated a total of 900 masks and has an additional 700 in the works.

The masks are being given away for free, but donations are accepted.

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