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MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ — When Patricia and John “Hutch” Hutchinson of Belmar learned there was a shortage of protective face masks and shields, they quickly did their homework to find out how they could help during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I kept hearing about the shortage of face masks. So I looked them up on the web and said, I can do that,” said Patricia, an artist who is well-known in the greater Belmar arts community.
She brought out her sewing machine and started “churning them out" one by one, using colorful, 100 percent cotton fabric and elastic strips,
Hutch, an engineer by trade and a creative force behind the establishment of the Belmar Public Library’s Community Makerspace, took another direction — using his 3D printer to produce plastic components for face shields after downloading instructions from the web. “My printer has been going nonstop,” said Hutchinson, who shared a video of his production below.
Together, the couple are turning their talents and dedicating their time to this worthy cause, as they reach out to health care facilities, organizations and individuals in need of face masks and shields.
They’re also looking for donations of elastic (1/4- to 3/8-inch wide) and 100 percent cotton fabric for their endeavor. Pat also can also pull another sewing machine out of mothballs for anyone who wants to join in the effort.
She also points out, “The need for homemade masks means that you're in a crisis. We hope these masks we're making will never be needed."