With several grocery stores—whether part of a larger chain or locally owned—now requiring the use of face masks to enter, now may be a good time to pick one up.
Luckily, there are a few organizations making masks for citizens.
Having fulfilled the requests of essential workers, the Facebook group Whidbey Personal Protective DIYers has turned its efforts towards crafting masks for anyone else who may need one.
Organizers for the group have been hosting curbside distribution events outside of Ken’s Korner in Clinton and donating all funds received to Good Cheer Food Bank. Last Monday, mask sales raised $1,119, and an anonymous donor matched the funds.
The next curbside distribution will occur at the same location this Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mask seekers are asked to drive up to a table in front of Good Cheer Two and stay in their car, with their passenger seat side facing the curb. A volunteer will ask them to choose a style—pleats, no pleats, ties, ear loop elastic or around the head elastic or T-shirt ties.
They can also choose a print or color, although masks cannot be tried on before purchasing. Volunteers can tell people how to make modifications without having to sew.
Masks are limited to two per person, and come with washing instructions. A donation box will be available for contributions to the food bank.
Organizer Kymy Johnson said the group is hoping to have about 700 masks available at the South Whidbey location this Saturday. Surprisingly, they did not sell out at their Monday event.
Volunteers will be adhering to social distancing guidelines during the curbside distribution, with as little contact as possible.
Early birds will not be assisted any earlier than 10 a.m. Saturday.
Johnson added that they are planning to have similar curbside distribution events in Coupeville and Oak Harbor soon. Proceeds from those events will also go to Whidbey food banks.
Since the beginning of Whidbey Personal Protective DIYers, a total of 72 seamstresses have been donating masks through the South Whidbey drop boxes.
The group as a whole has created over 12,000 masks for essential workers and organizations on the island, from Clinton to Oak Harbor.
Island Shakespeare Festival has also been making masks for the public, sewn by volunteers, Board President Peggy Juve and Artistic Director Olena Hodges.
A Google Form to place orders can be accessed on the organization’s website, https://www.islandshakespearefest.org/. Masks can be small, medium or large in size, with colors varying.
A suggested donation of $10 to $50 per mask can be mailed to Island Shakespeare Festival, PO 1262, Langley, WA 98260. Payments can also be made online.