Brookville women create group to make protective masks


BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – The United States needs Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Valerie Thorn and Rachel Estep are doing what they can to make that happen.

Both of their Brookville homes have become factories for sewing masks. The effort started in part out of concern for Valerie’s daughter, who works at a local nursing home.

“They were taking care of their patients with the little cotton masks that are actually supposed to be put on the patients to protect the patients,” Valerie said.

The group created a Facebook group with two other friends and from there the effort grew. The group of now 10 volunteers each work from their homes to make re-usable protective masks.

“The washable masks that can go over the N-95’s to help prolong their life. These are washable, they’re 100% cotton, they’re made with elastic,” said Valerie.

The supplies are then donated to those who need it most.

“I don’t want to make light of the fact that the hospitals need the equipment but when you’re talking nursing homes and first responders that have nothing, not a mask, not gloves, that’s an issue.”

“As of right now, I dropped off 15 masks to the Perry Township Police Department yesterday, so they are taken care of but they were just one unit on a list that just keeps growing,” Estep said. “It’s very important to us that we’re able to help where help is needed.”

Neighbors who can are asked to volunteer their skills, supplies, or money to help these efforts. The official drop-off locations are listed below:

  • Trinity Lutheran Church at 25 Westbrook Rd, Brookville, OH 45309
  • 9 Terrace Park Blvd, Brookville, OH 45309
  • 11572 Air Hill Rd, Brookville, OH 45309

All drop-off locations are equipped with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. The group also needs volunteers who can sew.

“We need help. We need more hands so if people sew we’d love to even provide for you. If you say ‘hey I can sew but I don’t have materials,’ I’ll send you some,” said Estep.

Click here to learn how you can help.

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