Volunteers stitch homemade masks to address shortage in South Ga.

Volunteers stitch homemade masks to address shortage in South Ga.

FITZGERALD, Ga. (WALB) - The coronavirus pandemic has created a major shortage of medical supplies.

There are hundreds of videos popping up online to show how to create supplies for those in need.

While most people practice social distancing at home, Melissa Dark spends her time making masks to help with the medical supply shortage.

“When it became evident that there was a shortage, we started hearing more about that, especially from Albany, because we have seen what has happened there, with the virus spreading, we are more worried the hospitals, our economic development director called me,” Dark said.

With anxiety over COVID-19 running high among patients and clinical staff, Dark started stitching medical masks as quickly as possible.

Masks that volunteers have stitched.
Masks that volunteers have stitched. (Source: WALB)
The medical staff wearing handmade masks.
The medical staff wearing handmade masks. (Source: WALB)

“We want everyone to stay as safe as possible at home. But, we still need these masks, so we have been really overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have offered to sew, and willing to donate supplies, who are running things back and forth, helping each other," said Dark.

Dark said over 50 volunteers are working around the clock to help South Georgia hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

“We decided the best thing to do is just to put a call out to volunteers who know how to sew, and we have been gathering supplies for them and getting them and running a drop off system,” said Dark.

Dark said smaller hospitals often get overlooked and she wants to ensure everyone is getting protection they need against the coronavirus.

“Even as new equipment and supplies are being delivered to states, our rural small hospitals will be at the bottom of the list to receive supplies just because the number of people in our communities. So we want to help them out as much as we can,” said Dark.

Volunteers that can sew are encouraged to contact their local hospital to drop off any donations they can.

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