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Chicago Mask Makers

Christine DePaolo Baumbach, B.S. '74
Western Suburbs of Chicago
Three women healthcare professionals wearing colorful masks hold up a thank you sign.

"In mid-March, 2020, I like so many others was independently sewing fabric masks in response to the stunning lack of personal protection equipment for health care professionals. Some of us met on Facebook, first two of us, then three, and now over 150 cutters, sewers, and runners. Our FB group page has more than 1,500 enthusiastic supporters. In just over a month we have made and distributed more than 5,000 masks, all made from donated materials and sewn by volunteers. It has been a remarkable ride to build an instant organization in response to an immediate need. Someone compared it to building a boat as people embarked. The need is still there, and as we increase our capacity, we can supply first responders as well. It has been one of the most satisfying efforts of my life."