FAQs

Are masks free?

Although masks are distributed at no cost to the recipients, we welcome financial donations from those who are in the position to contribute. Our group is made up of 100% volunteers and mask makers currently pay for their own supplies. Financial donations will allow us to purchase materials and create mask making kits for our members, so that we can support our community and facilitate more masks getting to more people. Financial donations also support our distribution system, which picks up and delivers each mask. 

Why donate through the Sew Face Masks Philadelphia?

Our organization is large, however we operate hyper-locally so that members can serve their neighbors and communities. Most masks picked up in your neighborhood, stay in your neighborhood. Our focus is individuals, essential workers, and community organizations- not just healthcare workers. Our distribution system spans a wide coverage area; this allows the community to simultaneously donate and practice physical distancing. We are better together as a group working towards a larger goal, rather than individually. We have a closed-loop communication system with those that receive masks you donate; including healthcare administration. We take extra steps to ensure that no mask is ever discarded by a recipient. We vet safety and educational information closer than anyone we know. Important safety and education updates are pushed out via email in real-time. Our goal is to always get healthcare workers disposable PPE when possible.

What areas do you serve?

We serve the Greater Philadelphia Area, including South Jersey. Please check out our coverage map here

How can I get masks to you if I live outside of the pickup zone?

Please submit a donation request and then email us for our mailing address. 

Why is there a temporary limit of 50 masks?

With respect to our organization's mission, we believe that we can accomplish the greatest amount of good and support our sewists by not accepting requests for simultaneous large scale donations. We are encouraging large healthcare institutions to work directly with vendors/supplies. We always prefer that disposable PPE only is used in hospitals, however if there is any temporary role for cloth masks, we recommend that large healthcare institutions proactively connect with a supplier.

How did you come up with the original idea for the "Donation Due Diligence Form"? 

At the very first call for help, we are proud that individuals stepped up to serve their community. After weeks of around the clock sewing and paying for materials from their own pockets, we realized that more questions remained unanswered than not. The questions that we pose in the Donation Due Diligence Form is the minimum we need to collect to ensure that these donations are properly handled and cared for. Question includes items such as organization need for specifically handmade items, laundering plan, etc. Click here to view the form. 

Are you in contact with area hospitals?

Yes! We have had requests from major healthcare facilities in the area, including: Penn Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital, Temple University Hospital, Temple Fox Chase Cancer Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cooper University Hospital, Einstein Hospital, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Reading Hospital, Jefferson Torresdale, St. Mary's Medical Center, Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes, Atlantic Health, Capital Health, Primary care clinics in Camden, multiple hospices. Also: Maxim Healthcare, All American Healthcare Services, Rothman Surgery Center, Civiq Health, Advocare, American Renal Care

 

Who else are you helping?

We accept mask requests from everyone. Please see below for some of the recipients. 

Septa operators, GoPuff, SEAMAAC, Project Home, Center For Family Services (including SERV), MCRC Recovery Center,  Pathways To Recovery, Philadelphia Meditation Center, The Food Trust, Point Breeze Towne Watch, Mazzoni Center, Food Not Bombs, Chestnut Hill Meal On Wheels, Ardmore Food Pantry, Build A Bridge, Youth Consultation Service, Interim House, several community health centers, Philadelphia Fire Department, EMT's (including Collingswood EMT's), senior centers (St. George Senior Housing), nursing homes (Immaculate Mary Nursing Home), retirement communities, veterinary clinics (Northern Liberties Veterinary Clinic), essential workers (Shoprite, Trader Joe's), immunocompromised individuals, child related organizations (Kindercare, Norristown Area School District), Arch Street United Methodist Church, food services (HotPot Philly, Wadsworth Pizzeria, St. Honore Pastries, Pete's Famous Pizza)

Who do you think should wear a face mask? 

Everyone. Here’s a good place to start: Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired. We support the #Masks4All movement. Jeremy Howard explains it well here: We need #masks4all 

What do you think of other materials such as polyprene, halyard, etc.?
We take safety extremely seriously. There are various safety concerns with each material.
We are currently in contact with multiple hospitals and scientists in order to confirm that this material is
(1) effective, (2) safe to use, and (3) will hold up to frequent sterilization.

Can I join your team? 

We are all volunteers that came together for one reason - to fight this pandemic and support the #Masks4All movement. If you’d like to volunteer with us and join our core team- please complete this form. We could always use extra volunteers!

I am a supplier. How should I get in touch with you?

Suppliers/vendors that would like to be listed on our website as a supplier for local hospitals and community organizations should reach out to us at sewfacemasks@gmail.com