Making Masks for Helpers

Valparaiso Iota Chapter Tri Kappa member Becky Cowan recruited about 20 of her fellow members to contribute to a new volunteer group called Masks for Northwest Indiana Healthcare Workers. Organized by a group of Franciscan Health Physicians, the group has made well over 10,000 masks since inception on March 19, 2020. Some masks are made of HC600 surgical grade material equivalent to the N95 masks. Other masks are made of cotton with an insertable filter. The masks have been distributed to 5 different regional hospitals and multiple not-for-profits including but not limited to:  Opportunity Enterprises, Hilltop Food Pantry, Housing Opportunities, restaurant workers, and various nursing homes. Tri Kappa members have been sewing, creating kits, delivering supplies, and creating contacts with community members for unique services and materials.

We are not finished. Our goal is to complete and distribute 80,000 masks. We could not complete this mission without donations from Fairway Laser Systems (cutting HC600 material), Lake Cable and Tom Krueger (obtaining and donating 40,000 linear feet of wire), and Urschel (cutting and forming wire nose-pieces). This has truly been and will continue to be a community effort. If you are interested in contributing time, resources, or funding for this project, please go to the NWI Masks website or email

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