JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores, including the one in Culpeper’s Dominion Square Shopping Center, is now providing free kits for adults and youth to make cloth mask covers for donation to local health providers.
All open store locations are doing the same and supplies are replenished daily, according to company spokeswoman Shauntina Lilly. The Culpeper store is operating under revised hours—9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“We encourage customers to bring their completed masks back to JOANN, and we will donate them to hospitals and healthcare facilities in need,” Lilly said. “This is a grassroots effort, and we’ll connect with hospitals to provide the masks made to health systems that are in need.”
The nationwide craft store made the decision to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic from a homemade perspective as people in the crafting and sewing communities started making protective masks, gowns and other essential items and donating them to hospitals and health care facilities, according to a company statement. “As a company, we were inspired by our customers who are pitching in during this unprecedented crisis, and we wanted to do what we could to contribute.”
As many medical providers around the country struggle with supplies of masks and ventilators, many groups are stepping up to help. According to the CDC, homemade fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted.
“While these materials are not medical-grade, they have been made based on patterns and using fabric and materials recommended for medical settings, including the guidelines provided by the Providence Hospital System in Washington. These materials should only be used in accordance with current CDC guidelines,” according to JOANN.
The mask kits contain fabrics and materials that are recommended by those in the medical field, including 100% cotton.
“While not medical grade, these items are acceptable per the CDC, as we are in a time of crisis,” according to the company.
“In addition to helping individuals make-to-give, JOANN is working with larger hospitals and medical facilities to secure materials such as fabric, elastic and clear vinyl to hospitals that are in need of supplies. Entities in need of supplies should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Curbside Pickup in all 860 stores across the country, JOANN is taking additional steps to protect its stores, customers, and team members while ensuring their livelihood and mental wellness.
In a related story, Fauquier Health is currently accepting the following donations from the public: personal protective equipment masks- N95, isolation and surgical hand sanitizer gloves. Mary Washington Healthcare and Stafford Hospital are also accepting such donations.
Orange Family Physicians is also reaching out for contributions of gloves, isolation gowns, or masks of any kind. The homemade masks are perfect for patient use as that protects medical staff, according to a post from the doctor’s office just outside the town of Orange.
“That is one of our biggest concerns is keeping us protected so we can continue to care for you and be here for you,” the post stated.