Back to school mask drive underway in Itasca County, Hibbing

Updated: August 21, 2020 06:16 PM

The Back to School Mask Drive is underway in Itasca County. The Mask Up Itasca group is pivoting to help the schools.

Tanya Jackson from P & D Sewing in Grand Rapids is putting together the kits for people to come and pick up.

"I need sewers. It's a rectangle. You can do this! Takes about seven minutes to make each mask," she said. Each kit comes with fabric and elastic for 24 masks. She'll even loan you needles and thread if you need them.

"Regardless if you believe or think they should be wearing them, the fact is they are required to wear them in the schools. Why not help everyone make this work," she added. 

They've been very busy repairing sewing machines and selling them during this pandemic.

Mask Up Itasca has distributed 31,000 fabric masks to long-term care, assisted living and medical facilities. This group is now focusing on making masks for school age kids.

There is a need for about 4,000 masks for the start of the year.

Mask Up Itasca has secured grant funding to cover supplies for this mask drive. 

P & D Sewing in Grand Rapids is located at 512 S Pokegama Avenue. Once you're done making the masks, you also bring them back to P & D. 

Below are links to YouTube videos about making masks. Please remember that child-size masks are smaller than adult size, typically the fabric is cut 5”x7.5” or 5”x8” and the elastic is 6” for each side.

If you have questions, contact ElderCircle: or 218-999-9233, extension 277.

And in Hibbing, Susan Schock said the school district asked for help with 2700 masks for the school year. "We are making classroom packets, so for elementary classrooms, there will be the same 25 masks in a bag and two for the teacher," she explained. The backs will be white, so the teacher can write names on there. 

Some people are cutting the fabric. Others are ironing or steaming fabric and masks. And some are cutting elastic.

You can pick up kits at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Hibbing, 501 E 23rd Street.

"It's something you do for your community," Schock said.

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