Boise woman working to combat face mask shortage

Posted at 3:26 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 19:50:30-04

As 6 On Your Side has reported, COVID-19 concerns are causing shortages of all kinds of different medical supplies, including face masks.

That's why a Boise woman is using her skills to help.

Tosha Jones' grandmother taught her how to sew when she was she was young, and she says she was immediately hooked.

"It all started with a pillowcase, and then I realized you can make all sorts of neat things--you can make your own clothes," Jones reminisced.

Jones is working to sew reusable, machine-washable face masks to help combat the face mask shortage, and says she'll be donating them to those in need. She says it's all in an effort to help the community she's called home for so many years.

"It's really important to me to band together as a community in a time like this," Jones said. "I think people are panicked and scared and when we offer these small acts of kindness it really helps comfort everybody."

Each mask takes her about 10-15 minutes to make, and are made of four layers of tight-knit cotton. The masks are also tight fitting and cover both the mouth and nose. Jones says she's done careful research to make sure her masks align with the standards on the CDC's website.

The colorful masks come in all different kinds of patterns and sizes. Jones says she's already been in contact with local day cares, childrens' hospitals, and even fire departments, but she says she's gotten requests from people who are immune-compromised.

"I have a lot of people reaching out--it's kind of blowing up currently, so I'm getting more and more--there's individuals, either immune-compromised people or pregnant women, people who haven't been able to source them," Jones said. "Daycares, I've had nurse friends posting they're in need of protection sources long term in their job, so they're interested."

If you'd like to help with the project, or are in need of a mask, you can reach out to Jones either over the phone at (208) 571-5800 or click here.