Covering our Military and VA Healthcare Workers

Posted on Apr 20, 2020

Our Sewing & Crafting Team has answered the call to begin sewing masks and shipping them out to service members and veterans as quickly as possible.


As we navigate what support looks like to deployed service members, military families, and veterans right now, one need has risen to the top of the priority list: masks. As you know, the CDC has released new guidelines recommending that all citizens wear a face mask when outside of their home. 

In addition to the CDC recommendation, the Pentagon issued a directive requiring all service members and their family members wear masks while on post. Due to mask shortages, however, the government is not providing the masks for service members or their family members -- stateside or deployed. Because of this, we have received an overwhelming amount of requests for face masks. Luckily, we have a large network of volunteers - some of whom are sewing and crafting wizards! Our Sewing & Crafting Team has answered the call to begin sewing masks and shipping them out to service members and veterans as quickly as possible. 

 

How you can help

Between deployed service members and their families on base and VA Hospital workers, our network of volunteers is not enough to meet the demand for protection. That’s why we’re calling for help from anyone willing to make masks, donate supplies, or make a donation to help! 

Sewing Masks

The beauty of the DIY masks is that they are not that hard to make. There’s a sewn version and a no sew version available. For those with a sewing machine, here’s a DIY tutorial to follow.

 

For those who choose the no sew option, here’s a tutorial from the CDC. 

 

You can send masks directly to our headquarters at

Soldiers' Angels

2895 NE Loop 410, Suite 107

San Antonio, Texas 78218 

Making donations

Can’t sew? That’s ok! We are also accepting materials to distribute to our Sewing & Crafting Team. Materials needed include fabric, elastic, thread, or other sewing materials (preferred fabric is 100% cotton, like a quilting fabric or lightweight flannel). For those interested in donating materials, please contact Nancy at NMarshall@soldiersangels.org.

Don’t have materials? We are also accepting donations to help purchase materials and cover shipping costs. Donate here.

 

A note about DIY masks

Just a note that homemade masks are not as effective as hospital or N95 masks. However, with supplies so low, this is better than nothing. The masks are not necessarily for use in a hospital setting, they are just to help stop the spread.

From the CDC: “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.”

Many of the masks sent to hospitals are being used over the N95 masks to help prolong the use of the N95 mask. That said, if you have any N95 masks or access to N95’s that you help your local healthcare workers by reaching out and donating directly to them.

So far, Soldiers’ Angels has provided nearly 1,000 handmade masks to VA Hospitals and Military installations, created by registered Sewing and Crafting Team Angels as well as donors sending in from across the country. With your help, we can support even more service members, veterans, and military families.