Sew the Curve makes masks and more for Kamloops front-line workers - InfoNews

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Sew the Curve makes masks and more for Kamloops front-line workers

Sew the Curve volunteers are making bags to transport scrubs, and caps for hospital workers.
Image Credit: Submitted by Tamara Macpherson Vukusic
April 08, 2020 - 1:21 PM

What began as 12 masks dropped into the mailbox of a Kamloops health care worker on March 23 has grown into nearly 2,300 masks from a sewing community of almost 1,000 members within two weeks.

The Sew the Curve Kamloops organizers are receiving mask requests from the Lower Mainland and as far away as New York City, New Orleans and Australia.   

"I have had to say no to (care) homes in Victoria, Surrey and Richmond," said organizer Tamara Macpherson Vukusic. "One person cried on the phone when I said no, which was so hard."

The group has members from around the interior, including Merritt, Chase and Kelowna. Unfortunately, the group is only able to accommodate requests from Kamloops and the surrounding area. 

"We’re still meeting our need locally," said Vukusic.

However, Sew the Curve has been providing resources to those requesting masks from outside the region, and giving them the tools they need to start a mask campaign in their own community. 

The group has just launched a website, where they will also post the necessary resources for mask making campaigns, such as sewing patterns and organizational document templates.

At a press conference April 6, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam announced that the Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19 had reached a consensus on non-medical masks, in light of emerging information on asymptomatic transmission.

"Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms, is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain," Tam said. 

Sew the Curve has donated masks to front-line workers throughout the community, including grocery store clerks, clerical and support staff at the Royal Inland Hospital, social workers, substance abuse counsellors, postal workers and more.

They have also supplied masks to local groups like the Four Paws Food Bank, The Mobile Emergency Meal Distribution Network and Ask Wellness.

Thompson Tailors, which has partnered with Sew the Curve, has sewn 250 masks for the Kamloops RCMP, which officers will use to preserve their N95 masks. 

The group has also branched out from mask making, addressing other requests from health care workers.

"The Royal Inland Hospital put out a call for 600 scrub caps and bags," said Vukusic. Following their delivery to the hospital, Vukusic was contacted by one of the staff.

Health care workers at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops pose for a photo wearing their donated scrub caps from Sew the Curve.
Health care workers at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops pose for a photo wearing their donated scrub caps from Sew the Curve.
Image Credit: Stephanie Ross

"Someone sent me a note saying that it was like Christmas," she said. "All the nurses and docs were so excited opening the delivery of scrub caps."

Sew the Curve has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for more fabric and supplies.

There are people that are giving so much," said Vukusic. "I know they’re on pensions and have a limited income and they’ve asked for nothing."

She said that many who can't sew want to help, and donations for materials are a great way to do so.

Owner of Kamloops Fabricland Billi Nut is opening the store exclusively for Sew the Curve volunteers April 8, allowing three stitchers in at a time to stock up on supplies. Nut is also giving all the volunteers 50 per cent off.

To donate to the group's GoFundMe for fabric and supplies, click here. To visit the Facebook group Sew the Curve, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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