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Do you know how to sew (or know people who sew and want to help)? Then you can assist in shoring up Oregon's depleted medical supplies by making much-needed face masks and gowns and donating them to those who need them most!

This DIY movement has been happening all over the country, and locally Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is spearheading the drive to safely collect homemade masks and deliver them to wherever they can do the most good. From Cascadia:

According to CDC guidelines, in settings where facemasks are not available, health care providers might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. While homemade masks will help fill the void during this public health crisis, they are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown and caution should be exercised when using this option. Our goal is to get more masks and PPE into the hands of people who need it and to do it safely, without risking the further spread of COVID-19.

In short, while your homemade mask may not offer all the protection that frontline medical workers need, they can be used to cover existing N95 surgical masks (thereby extending their usage), as well as providing protection to support staff (receptionists, cleaning crews, stockroom, etc) so that N95 masks will be saved for those who need them most.

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE SOME MASKS? Here's how you do it:

• Cascadia has provided clear "Make a Mask" instructions— just use this PDF!

• Need visual directions? Try this! (OMIGOD those masks are so cute. Which isn't the point, I know, but still!)

• The fine folks at JOANN (the greatest craft/fabric chain in the nation, Michael's and Hobby Lobby can go to hell) also have a very clear tutorial.

Joann is also offering free tools and supplies via curbside pickup for your mask making project—just be sure to call your local store to see if they're open and participating.

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• You can also help by making hospital gowns and scrub caps for donation. Here's a good pattern.

• Even if you can't sew, help your friends who can! After all, MANY HANDS MAKE THE WORKLOAD LIGHT. When you're ready to donate, email Cascadia at to arrange for delivery. According to Cascadia, "collected masks will be immediately sent to be sanitized and be prepared for use." Joann is also accepting face mask donations, so check their site and your nearest location for more info.