“This is going to be something I’m going to do to give back.”
Mandy Lien’s small business is closed. The cosmetologist is staying at home with her family. However, she not sitting back and relaxing.
“I just felt like I needed to help out,” she said.
The Chula Vista woman said she was motivated by an Instagram post from Masks for Heroes. Their page is encouraging people to sew face masks for medical providers.
“We owe so much to them,” she said. “So, I want to make sure that anything I can do to help, I am.”
Lien followed the directions shared by Masks for Heroes to make homemade N95 masks with Merv13 filters. She purchased fabric for the masks, floral wire for the nose piece, and deployed the fabric part of home air filters for the face masks filters.
“And of course, every time I’m doing this my hands are washed,” said Lien.
Lien said she has constructed and delivered about a dozen masks to local nurses.
“Some are former clients. Some are friends. Some are current clients,” she said.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, medical providers should only use hand-sewn face masks to protect against the coronavirus as a last resort.
NBC 7 contacted three of the larger hospital groups in San Diego County: Sharp, Scripps, and US San Diego Health.
Scripps Health simply responded with, “We are referring anyone looking to donate handmade masks to the County of San Diego.”
Sharp said it would accept professional-grade face masks but isn’t accepting hand sewn face masks at this time. A spokeswoman said Sharp is setting up a process to collect drive-up donations from the community on Wednesday, March 25 at its hospitals.
A UC San Diego Health spokesman said they “currently have sufficient quantities of face masks for both health care workers and UC San Diego Health patients, but we face the same uncertainties about supply as everyone else.”
He added, “There is an on-going effort to responsibly conserve supplies, use them appropriately and follow latest CDC guidelines. That said, we will be accepting donations of appropriate and suitable masks and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).”
Nevertheless, Lien said she’ll keep on sewing.
“I don’t want to sell these. I want to donate these to anyone that needs them.”