Volunteers making masks for children as school year approaches


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Several community groups are working long hours to sew and distribute face coverings as Montgomery County’s mask mandate takes effect and children prepare to head back to school next month.

Two local groups told 2 NEWS they have received many requests recently to make masks for kids.

“Now what we’ve seen is we’re not getting so many requests of large numbers of masks,” said Brenda Rex, director of the Dayton Sewing Collaborative, which has made and distributed more than 9,000 masks. “But we’re getting more requests from individuals requesting two or three masks.”

Rex told 2 NEWS her organization is working with several community groups to get masks to people most in need.

“Primarily it is lower-income people and maybe people that are homebound that don’t have a way to get out and get masks,” Rex said.

Around 70 volunteers are helping the Dayton Sewing Collaborative make masks, she added.

Another 30 people are sewing face coverings with a Brookville-based group, which has made roughly 17,000 masks since March, according to organizers.

“People are starting to look for what to do when they don’t sew and they don’t know anybody and they don’t want to go out and spend a whole bunch of money on them,” said Rachel Estep, who helped launch Brookville Sewing Mask Covers.

Estep told 2 NEWS her group’s masks have been sent to 42 states and five other countries.

Though the face coverings have reached a wide range of businesses, many of the most recent requests have come from teachers and parents who need masks for kids.

“We don’t look at it as a task or a chore,” said Valerie Thorn, another organizer for the group. “This is an honor to be able to help protect all of our fellow residents and friends and neighbors and communities and children.”

If you’re interested in supporting the Dayton Sewing Collaborative by making masks or donating materials, visit the organization’s website.

To volunteer with Brookville Sewing Mask Covers or donate supplies, including 100 percent quilters cotton, contact the group on its Facebook page. You can also send a monetary donation on Venmo.

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