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Delaware News Desk
Sussex Countian

Due to the response from the community and the help of Pam Smith, a registered nurse at Beebe Healthcare, Beebe has a format and instructions for making and donating hand-sewn masks, with photos, online.

Smith has created a specific mask pattern that Beebe will be asking all those willing to donate their time to make. These guidelines can be used for a three-ply surgical pleated mask or one with a pocket that a filter can be inserted into.

Supplies needed include 100% woven cotton fabric; cotton T-shirt jersey knit fabric; fabric or ribbon ties that are 12-18 inches long; four elastic bands per mask to use as ear loops in lieu of the ties; a creasing or marking tool; optional 20-22 gauge wire cut in 4-inch lengths; scissors, thread, pins and other basic sewing tools; an iron and ironing board; and sewing machine.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support,” said Tom Protack, president, Beebe Medical Foundation. “If there was ever a time to consider donating to our community nonprofit hospital, now is the time.”

“Beebe has made efforts in the previous weeks to conserve proper personal protective equipment, while keeping our employees safe as this COVID-19 pandemic spreads,” said David Tam, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “Donations such as these masks will help us to prepare when a surge comes. Beebe leaders are preparing for when the surge comes, not if. These items will be critical to use during that time. Beebe is following state and CDC guidelines to utilize donated masks in the proper medical situation, but they are still invaluable to our cause. We cannot thank these community members enough.”

Masks can be dropped off to Beebe’s Population Health Department, 1307 Savannah Road, Lewes. Bins are located on the covered front porch from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Donations will be collected frequently throughout the day and stored properly by Population Health team members working in the office. Staff is available for assistance by calling 645-3337. Donations left overnight will not be accepted.

Beebe encourages donors to practice social distancing and to leave their name with the masks donated so Beebe can acknowledge them.

In addition to hand-sewn masks, Beebe is looking for other items to be donated, including unused face and surgical masks, especially N95 masks; eye protectors including safety goggles, safety glasses and clear face shields; surgical and medical gloves; medical garb, suits, scrubs and isolation gowns; cleaning and sanitizer solutions such as alcohol wipes/pads, bleach wipes and sanitizing wipes; hand sanitizer, including hand sanitizer bottles/pumps/spray bottles; brown paper bags and lunch bags; and alternative respirators that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has given permission to use in healthcare settings during the pandemic.

For donations of items or supplies, or guidance on handmade items, contact Kim Blanch at kblanch@beebehealthcare.org or call 645-3337.

For monetary donations, call 644-2900 or visit beebehealthcare.org/covid19-relief.

With safety of team members and patients in mind, Beebe is not able to accept food items now. The Beebe Medical Foundation is putting together a way for those interested to donate funds toward food items.

Emergency funding will directly support the charitable mission of the Beebe Healthcare system. These funds will be used to help purchase medical equipment, supplies and costs directly associated with patient care enabling our team members to continue to do what it takes to keep everyone safe.

For more, beebehealthcare.org.