In early April, the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade rallied hundreds of volunteers to its Most Mask Makers Challenge: to make as many cloth masks as possible to protect nurses, agricultural workers, disaster feeding plan volunteers, county public health workers, homeless shelter workers, and grocery store checkers.
In the last three weeks, 230 volunteers sewed 6,832 masks, which are being delivered throughout Santa Barbara County.
The Bucket Brigade is now launching an ongoing project, Make Masks, Save Lives! to continue its work unleashing the power of community. The goal is to recruit another 200 volunteer mask-makers, along with support volunteers delivering materials and picking up finished masks to take to the many who need them for protection.
The goal in May is to ramp up production to 2,500-plus masks per week to cover and protect as many county residents as possible.
Volunteers for sewing and delivery drivers have teamed up to create a team of Mask-Making Superstars. The Bucket Brigade calls on all those who sew, quilters, sailmakers and seamstresses, to use their stitching skills to make masks and save lives.
Volunteers who don’t sew can help by delivering mask materials and finished masks in Santa Barbara County. Volunteers can sign up at https://sbbucketbrigade.org/make-masks-save-lives/.
The Bucket Brigade will supply free materials, pick up the finished products, then professionally wash and deliver masks to critical service heroes working to keep Santa Barbara County moving forward during the pandemic.
The Bucket Brigade has roles for all who want to support the community during the pandemic. Donations of materials and money are the critical underpinning of this life-saving effort. For more information on how to give, visit: https://give.sbbucketbrigade.org/campaign/donatenow/c201634.
Make Masks, Save Lives! masks will offer protection for hospital, health, hospice and residential care workers; front line-public safety workers; the unhoused and their support staff; government and public health staff; and other groups with increased risk. Submit requests for masks to https://sbbucketbrigade.org/request-face-coverings-for-critical-serviceagencies-here/.
“The Bucket Brigade was founded in 2018, to help our neighbors in their time of need, and to build community out of crisis,” said Abe Powell, executive director/co-founder. “In 2020, we remember what community solidarity means in a time of crisis. We will use each of our individual skills and abilities to help others.
“We will pull together and fight this pandemic with all the people, tools and resources we have now and with new ones we will invent and deploy. We are a part of a movement filled with love and determination, and we welcome you all to join us.”
For more information, visit www.sbbucketbrigade.org.
The Bucket Brigade thanks its partners Mission Linen, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners, city of Santa Barbara, Montecito Association, Rusty’s Pizza, SBC Mask Network, Jewels by the Sea, Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office, and Powell Peralta.