Becca Hoffmann of Falkland has started sewing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help fulfil Personal Protective Equipment shortages felt across the Valley. (Contributed)

North Okanagan woman sews masks amid pandemic

Masks offer sense of safety and people need that now, says Becca Hoffmann

A Falkland woman is spending her time in self-isolation sewing masks for those who may need them.

Becca Hoffmann is a stay-at-home mom who has always been handy with a sewing machine and with more than 20 years of sewing experience under her belt, it made sense to make masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic to help alleviate the shortages of personal protective equipment.

“In just two days, I had requests for more than 30 masks,” Hoffmann said, after only starting the project around March 23.

The masks, which take around a half hour to complete from start to finish, are not of the same medical grade as the N95 masks worn by medical professionals, but it’s better than nothing, Hoffmann said.

“I’m naturally inclined to help people and this gives me a feeling of purpose in a very unsettling situation,” she said.

Hoffmann said these unprecedented times have caused her to feel anxious, but having this project has helped her focus on something that makes her feel useful.

“I feel as though I can’t sit idly by when I have the skill to help,” she said.

In a recent visit to a store, Hoffmann noticed the cashier was wearing gloves and a scarf as a makeshift mask.

“I felt so badly, I immediately went home and made him a mask,” she said. “Nobody deserves to feel frightened at their work.”

“Even though cotton masks are not as effective as an N95, a small decrease in risk (of exposure) is still something.”

The masks are made with a high-count cotton-poly blend fabric outside layer and flannel-lining interior. They are form fitting with a quarter-inch or half-inch-wide sewing elastic. Hoffmann said those interested in donating materials to be used for masks should turn to Facebook.

A group called Medical Mask Making – Okanagan is a recently created forum and it is the hub for those interested in donating materials or sewing their own mask projects.

She said she is also looking for others who can sew.

In a social media post, Hoffmann called out to fellow sewers and her post has since been shared more than 120 people. She said her post has reached Facebook users from the Sunshine Coast to Ontario.

“The masks give people a sense of safety,” Hoffmann said. “And I think that’s huge right now.”

Hoffmann said there are a lot of user groups and organizations that can use free masks, such as seniors homes and care-aid workers.

“Friends, family, neighbours, people on your streets… I’m sure all these kinds of people would be thrilled to receive free masks.”

READ MORE: Vernon women spending quarantine making masks

READ MORE: Police, fire rally for Vernon hospital workers amid COVID-19


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Cops still on scene hours after dump truck, cyclist collide on Harvey Avenue

The woman sustained injuries to one of her legs, according to RCMP

Boaters asked to slow down, be respectful on regional lakes

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre also reminded boaters physical distancing still applies on the water

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Most Read