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Volunteers help Madison sewing machine store make face masks

Source: WMTV
Source: WMTV(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 7:15 PM CDT
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Electric Needle of Madison received an outpouring of volunteers after sharing an email from UW hospitals, asking for help to sew face masks that their medical providers can use.

Their Facebook post alone received over 1,200 shares as their business, along with volunteers at home jumped at the opportunity to help.

"Having something that we can do is really big. That really feels important, you know, beyond avoiding everybody which seems just very negative. This is definitely a positive, and it's something that you know anybody that can stitch a straight stitch can do." Jen Mulder, Owner of Electric Needle said.

However, many local medical groups are still unsure if they are able to use the masks.

UW Health's Emily Kumlien said, while the hospital appreciates the support of the community they cannot accept unsolcited items because of infestation control requirements. In light of that, they ask that no one drop off any hand-sewn masks or other equipment.

Kumlien also explained they have "very specific guidlines" that need to be followed before they could accept any mask, so it is best to wait until you hear from them bfore sewing any masks.

UnityPoint Health – Meriter told NBC15 it is not asking for, collecting or accepting donations of homemade masks.

"We appreciate the community’s wish to help, but the best thing the community can do right now is to practice social distancing," UnityPoint-Meriter's Leah Huubregtse said.

While waiting to see if UW approves approve its design, however, Electric Needle says it plans to keep making masks.

"We feel like it's really empowering and its bringing a lot of people together to make a change," Mulder added.

The masks being made are 100 percent cotton, so they can be sanitized. Volunteers can drop off masks at the Electric Needle, at 4281 W. Beltline Hwy.