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REAL is taking part in a collaborative project with the Salvation Army, the Rotary Club and others in the community that aims to produce reusable cloth face masks for distribution to anyone who needs one. 

Arlene Hunter, who has coordinated the production of the 1500 free masks for Trinity United Church, will share her experience.   Christine Nayar and Brenda King have been making reusable face masks for free distribution.  They are sharing their tips for making ear-loop as well as tie-up versions with easy-to-make patterns.

The Salvation Army will be providing materials from its store and Rotary Club provide funding for other needed materials such as elastic.  REAL’s Journey to Sustainability (J2S) team was instrumental in arranging for Heather Mitchell-Adams of Modern Thymes to use the store’s meeting room as a dropoff/pickup point for materials. 

Katie Hoffman, who has agreed to act as Project Coordinator, has already enlisted  sewers and additional volunteers willing to cut the fabric pieces:   Brenda King, Judy Snider, Susan Boyle, Daisy Au, Christine Nayar, Katie Hoffman and Linda Fennell are amongst the volunteers.  Thanks to Iris Allard for donating fabric.  Please contact Katie if you have any fabric to contribute. 

Masks would be provided free of charge to people who need them. Possibilities for distribution centres include the REAL Deal Store and Modern Thymes, on Russell Street. Masks are currently being provided to REAL Deal customers who do not have their own to wear, and reusable masks are given when available.  The masks are individually packaged in recyclable paper bags instead of plastic bags.

Wearing a face mask protects the wearer and other people they come in contact with in situations where social distancing is not feasible. Non medical masks that can be washed and reused are preferable to using disposable masks. This project will provide an opportunity for community members to participate in personal and community safety, conserving resources and protecting our environment.

To get involved, please contact Katie Hoffman at 613-983-3360 or kthoffman@cogeco.ca.