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Thank You for Making Mensch Masks a Great Success!

07/24/2020 12:35:29 PM


Tikkun Olam and Brit Olam Committees

In early June, Beth Ahabah and St. James’s launched a joint project, with a goal to make 1,000 face masks, packaged with educational information, to be distributed to Richmond’s most vulnerable populations. The project was designed to address the fact that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people of color, particularly African Americans, resulting in more serious symptoms and greater number of deaths. This disparity is the consequence of a continuing global inequity between races and cultures in our country. While instituting fair housing policies, improving employment opportunities and taking other steps to mitigate economic inequality will help in the future, there are ways to reduce risk of infection in vulnerable populations right now. Underserved communities have less access to face masks and lack critical information such as mask-handling instructions. Increasing access and education can go a long way in helping folks protect themselves and others against unnecessary exposure to coronavirus.

A Heartfelt thank you to our nearly 100 volunteers: 
• 2 Project Coordinators, Katie Roeper and Nancy Warman
• 1 Project Advisor, Steve Markel
• 1 Delivery-Driver Coordinator, Allie Sheehan, who scheduled and tracked 188 trips
• 1 Graphic Designer, Linda Wren, who developed CDC-informed educational material 
• 1 Sewing Advisor, Vicki Lynn, who provided instructions and served as consultant for sewers
• 3 Buyers, who purchased interfacing, elastic and material, much of which was made in Ghana. Many thanks also to Laura Davidson, who donated personally-owned new fabric from Nigeria
• 36 Fabric Cutters, who measured and cut 94 yards of fabric and 47 yards of interfacing into 6”x9” rectangles to expedite sewing
• 27 Seamstresses, who stitched love into thousands of pieces of fabric to make 1,410 attractive and functional face masks
• 13 Packagers, who individually assembled each face mask with an educational card (explaining why and how to wear face masks) and sealed in ziplock bags for sanitary distribution between each stage of the process
• 25 Drivers, who drove across Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and Richmond, front porch to front porch, to maintain safe distance and efficient delivery of materials to volunteers

Many thanks to The Market at 25th for their exceptional partnership and to Beth Ahabah and St. James’s staff, who helped with coordination, promotion and served as a “universal drop-point” for deliveries.

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