Dozens of volunteers team up to make masks for Harrisonburg first responders

Dozens of volunteers team up to make masks for Harrisonburg first responders
HFD Interim Chief Stephen Morris receives the donated masks from Phillip Helmuth, who organized the effort (Source: Harrisonburg Fire Dept.)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WWBT) - The Harrisonburg Fire Department recently received a donation of home-made masks for first responders in the city to use as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

According to the department, Phillip Helmuth, a Harrisonburg man, organized the effort.

Helmuth used design recommendations from Virginia Commonwealth University, sending them to volunteers who he organized from across the area.

Volunteers included Old Order Mennonites in the Dayton area, the Dayton Mennonite Church, Park View Mennonite Church, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Zion Mennonite Church, Lindale Mennonite Church, Dressed Up Threads, and Mennonite Disaster Service, which all together contributed more than 60 people.

Dressed Up Threads, a business located in Dayton donated the material and cut the material to spec for everyone who was willing to take their time to sew masks.

“We are very grateful to volunteers who stepped up to provide either talents, time or material,” HFD Interim Chief Stephen Morris said. “With personal protective equipment at a premium, these masks will be critical in protecting our first responders during this unprecedented time.”

The group has promised up to 1,000 of the homemade masks over the next several weeks. For individuals or groups interested in assisting in making PPE for city first responders, you’re asked to contact the Harrisonburg Fire Department, Monday through Friday, at 540-432-7703

But this is just one group of many around the Shenandoah Valley stepping up to help provide masks and other forms of PPE for those on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ragtime Fabric, in Harrisonburg, has also provided supplies to seamstresses for making PPE for Sentara RMH.

Women around the Shenandoah Valley, including Dayton and a group organized by Ceci Esposito in Broadway, have been sewing medical masks. You can learn more about their efforts and how you can help by clicking here.

And a hydroponic florist in Waynesboro has shifted their production lines to focus on making face shields for first responders.

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