BWA members make masks for healthcare workers and more

5/4/20 Update

We would like to clarify that the face masks sewn by BWA members are not intended to serve as a substitute for approved personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with potential COVID-19 patients.

Masks made by BWA members for hospitals are for use as supplementary equipment, either over N95 masks to extend how long they may be used or in lower-risk situations if approved PPE runs low. In two cases, health care organizations supplied sterilization wraps for BWA members to up-cycle into supplementary masks (see photos). Such masks can be heat or UV-C sterilized and reused if needed.

supplementary face masks made from sterilization wraps

supplementary face masks made from sterilization wraps

Many other masks made by BWA members, such as those shown in the image collage and instructional video below, are not intended for medical personnel but for community members going about essential activities such as grocery shopping.
Submitted by Lois Toyama

BWA mask-making image collage

BWA mask-making image collage; click to enlarge

Members of the Buddhist Women’s Associations have been busy making masks to help protect hospital workers, residents of care homes, and community volunteers during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawaii Betsuin members have been sewing masks for several weeks now, some of the women working 4 to 8 hours a day to provide masks for about 350 people thus far. This week Aiea Hongwanji members and Mililani members have joined the effort.

Masks have been donated to Hawaii Pacific Health, Kaiser, Craigside, Kahala Nui, and residents at various nursing homes. Kona BWA seamstresses are sewing masks for Kona Auntie’s Angels.

They are in particular need of 1/8” elastic for the masks, so if you have any in your sewing kit, please consider donating.

Directions for making the masks are available in this YouTube video:

If you’d like to join the mask making team, please contact HFBWA president, Lois Toyama.

Each person who sews masks does so at her own home to comply with social distancing recommendations.