Rani Menon of the PPE team from Easton.

Local Women from Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, Trumbull, Monroe, and Stratford are making high-quality masks for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID numbers rising again in Connecticut, the all-volunteer COVID Community Response team formed in April to make PPE (personal protective equipment) for local non-profit and front-line social service agencies in Southwestern Connecticut is seeking volunteer seamstresses and donations to support their work at this critical juncture in the pandemic. To date the team has produced more than 2,000 masks and provided them to local organizations at no charge.

Tax-deductible contributions to support the team can be made on the SHARE the Project, Inc. website, a tax-exempt501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations will be used for purchasing supplies to make masks. When donating please write “CT PPE” in the comment box. 

“A donation of $25 dollars can make more than 30 high-quality masks,” said Jeanne Newman, executive director and founder of SHARE the Project.  “We have received generous donations of fabric from local businesses but still must raise funds to purchase the expensive HEPA filter cloth.”  

Mask makers sewing machines from the PPE team.

The COVID Community Response Team is comprised of volunteers who sew high quality face masks, assess need among community non-profits, and distribute the masks to social service agencies for their clients, volunteers, and employees.  Local agencies who have received the masks include the town senior centers in Easton, Monroe, Redding, Trumbull, Wilton and Weston; as well as food banks, shelters, and treatment centers, all in Fairfield County. 

“Our seamstresses range in age from 22 to 94, including a mother-daughter team. Since April we have made more than 2,000 masks, all of which have been given to people in need,” said volunteer coordinator Vida Peskay of Easton. “We seek volunteers to sew masks, as well as donations to help purchase materials. To date we have provided masks to more than 20 social services agencies in our area and last week we donated 135 masks to a Native American reservation in New Mexico.” 

In a telephone survey of 80 area nonprofits completed last month, the team identified an additional immediate need for nearly 1,500 pieces of PPE. Anyone wishing to participate can contact Vida Peskay at 612-669- 2464 or vpeskay@aol.com.

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