Moms make masks for local hospitals: Public invited to help too

Community. After hearing about the shortage of masks for medical personnel, local moms are handcrafting masks for distribution to medical facilities. To volunteer with the moms or to donate materials, send email to JoAnn.ElegantOccasions@gmail.com. To donate specifically and directly to Newton Medical Center, visit AtlanticHealth.org or send email to coviddonations@atlantichealth.org.

Sparta /
22 Mar 2020 | 10:14

Sparta MOMS are handcrafting masks for local hospitals and could use more materials and volunteer help to make more masks. This particular local initiative was started by JoAnn Ferraro Gregoli.

"I started it because my child is on the front lines," Gregoli said. "I then reached out to Sparta MOMS to help and the response has been incredible."

But additional volunteers and more materials are still needed.

"The need is far greater than you can imagine," Gregoli said.The masks will help those who are not directly exposed to high risk patients, and that, in turn, allows the specialized masks to be used only by those with direct interaction with high risk patients, according to Louise Gonzalez, Communications Manager for Atlantic Health Systems. That in turn, enables those who have direct contact with contagious patients, to use specialized masks.

"We will take masks, even if they are not exactly N-95 (specialized), said Gonzalez. "Anything is welcome right now, as the masks are in demand."

She noted that anyone with questions about mask donations specifically for Newton Medical Center can send email to coviddonations@atlantichealth.org or visit the web site.

"On the Newton Medical Center web site, on the COVID-19 page, there's a section for 'ways people can help' and one of the sections is making masks," Gonzalez said. "If you can sew, you can make a mask."

Gregoli reached out to the moms, who immediately started filling the need. One load of masks has already been dropped off this morning at the Sparta Police Station, and Gregoli plans to drop off another later this afternoon.

Masks have already been distributed to Overlook Medical Center in Summit, Chilton Medical Center in Pequannock, and Morristown Medical Center and Hackensack Medical Center, but the requests keep coming in every few minutes, Gregoli said.

"We need to help these front line angels," Gregoli said.

Jennifer Rofoff, of Byram, said that she was looking for masks to send to the hospital where her husband works, when she felt heartened by noticing the local effort to handcraft masks for local hospitals. Her husband the masks made in Sparta to the hospital where he works.

"I don't have sewing talents, but they do," Rofoff said. "This group was able to mobilize and are using the Sparta Police Station (parking lot) as a central location to trade materials and expertise, and trying to get them out to hospitals, a dialysis center, and cancer center and nursing home."

To volunteer or to donate materials along with Sparta MOMS and JoAnn Ferraro Gregoli, send email to JoAnn.ElegantOccasions@gmail.com.