Kathy Fauver, owner of Fitted Stitches LLC, started the Clatsop County Face Mask Makers on March 26. The Facebook group has since made 1,300 face masks to combat COVID-19 in Clatsop County.
Fauver said people at her church had started a Facebook group to take care of each other and were looking for someone to take the lead on making face masks.
“They asked if I would consider it and I’d been looking for a way to be involved and help,” Fauver said. “I really wanted to make sure it was effective.”
Fauver wanted to make the mask-making an organized system and given out to agencies. The group serves essential workers and high-risk individuals.
“I started it the 26th of March,” Fauver said of the Facebook group. “It has grown so fast.”
To date, over 1,300 masks have been delivered to nursing homes, schools and teachers, food banks, and 580 to the United States Coast Guard.
“There was a daycare facility that started at the beginning of April to serve the needs of the health care providers and so we got masks to those teachers,” Fauver said.
The group is currently working on getting 700 masks out to Wauna Mill.
“It was very important for me that we help elderly that are high-risk, but we couldn’t deliver to them individually, so we have two central locations where they can go pick up a mask,” Fauver said. “All of our masks are sanitized and in bags.”
The elderly can pick up masks from a tote at Main Street Market in Warrenton or Astoria Co+op. The group donated masks to the staff at the market.
“That first week, I was doing it all by myself,” Fauver said.
Fauver was coordinating and meeting people at Joann Fabrics parking lot to get finished masks and give any supplies needed. Fauver said a woman donated a sewing machine for the cause.
After the first week, a friend of Fauver’s, Sandra Carlson, called her and asked how she could help. Carlson works for the Oregon State University Clatsop County Extension Office in Astoria. She and two other women from the office came on board.
“We actually deliver the masks to the agencies and so she’s [Carlson] in charge of the deliveries and someone else from the office gathers the finished masks, and then another lady, Lorie, manages the Facebook page and answers questions,” Fauver said.
The group has someone in South County, serving as a hub for picking up kits. The hub in Astoria is the Astoria Police Department.
“We’re pretty well stretched out throughout the county,” Fauver said.
Fauver has made over 100 masks herself, while running the group and maintaining her own business, Fitted Stitches LLC. Fauver does custom alternations, specializing in bridal and formal wear, and sews for other people during the off-season.
The Facebook group has 30 sewers, five drivers who make deliveries, and 171 people on its Facebook page as of Friday, April 24.
“I had a private individual donate,” Fauver said. “The insurance company she works for, I think its State Farm, matched her donation, and that kind of helped us to begin with because I was purchasing things we needed.”
The Clatsop County Face Mask Makers are not accepting cash donations but recommending people to donate to the county’s food bank. Fauver said the group needs more people who can sew.
Being part of the group gives people a sense of giving back, Fauver said. She is seeing new people join who can sew.
If you want to become involved, you can join the Facebook group Clatsop County Face Mask Makers or email Kathy Fauver at email@example.com