Every day our vocabulary increases. And the Coronavirus is adding them by the handful.
One such word, or acronym, is PPE – Personal Protective Equipment, which means masks, face shields and protective gowns.
And those in the frontline of this battle, our doctors, nurses and other first-responders like fire and police need to have plentiful supply. But first they need to be made.
Thats where we come in. Our community leaders, including the Church’s Latter-day Saint Charities and two Utah health entities—University of Utah Health and Intermountain Health—issued a call in mid-April for volunteers throughout Utah to make these PPE-kits.
The target was 5 million, and the time scale a challenging five weeks.
One of our residents, Diane Atkinson has been tasked with coordinating the distribution of mask kits and collecting the completed masks. Dianne is in the Kamas Stake Relief Society presidency, which is one of the groups that’s organized into teams of volunteers in the valley, making the PPE items.
Now in their third week, progress is brisk.
The first week they ordered and completed 57 kits, which contain 100 sets of mask making material. The second week they did 47 kits, the third week 100 kits, which have not yet been completed but are in progress. The kit contains the mask material and straps. There is a video on this link that shows volunteers how to make the masks.
The process is as follows. A team-leader like Dianne collects the kits in Salt Lake City, and volunteers pick them up from Diane’s house in Kamas. They decide how many kits to attempt. Diane said it takes her about 12 hours to make the 100 masks. When the masks are complete, each volunteer drops them off at Diane’s and she gets them to the collection depo in SLC.
To date, we believe Kamas Valley volunteers have completed 104 kits, or 4,757 masks.
They are currently working on another 100 kits and will probably have those done by the end of next week.
There are two more weeks to go and based upon ordering 100 kits at a time, then doing as many as they can (like 50 or so a week), they are targeting a total of about 250 kits at 100 masks each or 25,000 mask made in Kamas Valley.
With 200 or so communities like ours working on these PPE kits, the 5 million target is in sight.
We’ll update this page as the campaign reaches it’s closure.