By Courtney McEllen, database & volunteer manager
Alexandria, VA – Masks have been a tool and a resource for us all during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been proved that wearing a mask (cloth face covering, surgical masks, face shield) helps to stop spread of the coronavirus, as do social distancing and cleaning/sanitizing procedures.
The Alexandria community and the City have provided informational flyers, over 44,000 masks, and 20,000 hand sanitizers. Volunteer Alexandria is coordinating the packaging of these items and we are recruiting volunteers to help distribute them to local nonprofits and community drives, to pass along to their participants and clients.
Other partnerships, such as with UpCycle Creative Reuse Center, are another avenue for Volunteer Alexandria to provide masks to residents in need throughout the community.
UpCycle Executive Director, Lexi Keogh described their partnership with Volunteer Alexandria: “Community partnerships capitalize on the strengths and increase the reach of both organizations. Combining UpCycle’s ability to gather materials with Volunteer Alexandria’s recruitment of 30 seamstresses and seamsters and ability to distribute the masks at their food distribution sites meant that we were able to quickly get 500 reusable fabric masks out to community members.”
More than 23 volunteers ages 12 and up enabled Volunteer Alexandria to pass out the first wave of 13,000 masks in just a few weeks!
We will not stop there! We call all seamstresses and seamsters to help us reach more people in need by providing masks for children and youth. If you can sew, and have the appropriate tools and the supplies, please help us reach our goal of producing another 500 children’s masks to hand out at local food distributions.
If you can help, please register as a volunteer and sign up to be a part of our seamstress and seamster group www.volunteeralexandria.org/careforcommunity. We need volunteers a few times a week throughout August. Flexible shift times are available. Families groups are welcome on selected dates and times. Families should reach out to Courtney McEllen at [email protected] for information. Volunteers 12 and up are welcome. To learn more, please visit www.volunteeralexandria.org/careforcommunity.
UpCycle Creative Reuse Center operates by accepting donations of reusable materials, shopping appointments, and different types of programming. Learn more by visiting www.upcyclecrc.org.