ROBBINSVILLE, NJ --  With the need for personal protective equipment, including face masks, for healthcare workers at an all-time high, local residents have set out on a mission to create a volunteer army of mask-makers while sheltering at-home to help those on the front line in Mercer County. 

Cindy Rosen said the Mercer Mask Project launched on March 20 when news reports noted the lack of sufficient masks. Within 24 hours, the core founders of the entity -- Rosen, Johan and LeeAnne Glozman and Brian and Brittany Cole -- came together to set up plan to create and distribute masks, an email to communicate with participants as well as get the word out through their Facebook group.   

To date, 105 masks have been sewn and provided to the Plainsboro Rescue Squad, West Windsor Fire and Police Department, the Philadelphia Homeless Clinic, area pharmacists and nurses.  As masks continue to be made, additional requests from health care or first responders in Mercer County will be filled. 

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Rosen told TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville that masks can be either machine or hand-sewed. In addition to sewing, volunteers can help by being "runners" of materials to home doorsteps and donation locations, sourcing materials, and washing mask materials prior to sourcing. Items needed include: fabric, one quarter inch elastic and pipe cleaners, and "free and clear" laundry detergent. 

The project will continue on an open-ended basis to provide masks as they continue to be needed.  Tutorials about how to make the masks are available on the Mercer Mask Project Facebook group and web chats via zoom to answer question.  The volunteer-based organization also will honor community service hours needed by students who participate. 

Anyone who is interested in participating in the Mercer Mask Project can email or send a direct message through Facebook.  

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