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‘Rosie The Mask Maker’ is Hard at Work in New Hampshire’s Seacoast

‘Rosie The Mask Maker’ is Hard at Work in New Hampshire’s SeacoastThere’s a lot of enthusiasm at Seacoast Mask Makers, an organization that was established only one week ago, and already has 1,400 members that are helping to sew face masks for First Responders, Retirement Homes, Police & Fire, and Correctional Facilities. They’ve completed 4,000 masks, and have already distributed 3,000 of them to local organizations in the Seacoast. This could be a major defense against Coronavirus hitting small communities hard like Barrington, NH.

Sarah Lachance has been working for the group from the very beginning – she saw the message that went out on Facebook from Javi Kalback, Founder and Logistics Engineer, asking for volunteers to make masks for healthcare workers. They shifted their mission of serving healthcare workers, like many hospitals, like Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover are only accepting them as a backup supply because they still have a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) right now. Seacoast Mask Makers wanted to make sure that the masks were getting into the hands of people that needed them the most. Sarah said they don’t have masks sitting around.

There are dozens of groups that have requested masks so far, with most already receiving distributions. Seacoast Mask Makers is working with their partners to gain authorization to publicize additional organization as requesting or receiving masks. The following organizations are among those that are being served:

· Durgin Pines – Kittery, ME

· Edgewood Centre – Portsmouth, NH

· Hyder Family Hospice – Dover, NH

· Riverside Rest Home – Dover, NH

· Rochester First Responders – Rochester, NH

· Rockingham County Jail – Brentwood, NH

· Strafford County DOC – Dover, NH

· Wentworth Senior Living – Portsmouth, NH

Organizations can submit a request for the masks from Amy Ouellette, their intake coordinator. Riverside Rest Home has already requested several hundred masks. The Department of Corrections has also requested a fair amount because there’s no way to social distance inside prisons.

‘Rosie The Mask Maker’ is Hard at Work in New Hampshire’s SeacoastThe masks are made from 100% cotton, so the cloth is readily available. It’s the elastic that is in short supply, used to make the straps. The masks need to be washed before use. The people that use these masks may not have the more advanced N95 masks, or they may use the cloth masks to prolong the life of the disposable N95 masks.

The masks provide 50-85% of the protection that an N95 mask provides. The cotton masks are being provided to local organizations, and some of the mask makers are also making them for themselves and their families. The pattern to make the cloth masks are available from Deaconess Hospital. You can also find out how to Donate Masks.

The Seacoast Mask Makers use donation hubs across the seacoast where people can drop off and pick up materials. This helps to ensure social distancing. There’s a supply coordinator that determines if there are supplies in various locations, and runners distribute supplies as needed to ensure each hub has what it needs. Kyle LaChance, the Supply Coordinator, has been instrumental in managing their hubs and ensuring that they're kept supplied.

‘Rosie The Mask Maker’ is Hard at Work in New Hampshire’s SeacoastAnyone who is sick or suspects they are sick or has been in contact with anyone that is sick, should not volunteer according to Sarah Lachance. She said they completed 1,075 masks on Saturday, and 572 masks on Sunday (less due to the rain), as well as 1,200 masks on Monday. “The requests keep coming in,” Sarah said, “We want to get our sewers ready so we can meet the demand when it comes.”

They’ve only been doing this for a week. The masks are only available for the Seacoast, however, there are other mask groups working to produce 100 million masks as part of the challenge from the American Hospital Association.

The Rosie The Mask Maker image brings back memories of the Rosie the Riveter moment during World War II, which Sarah says is “something for us all to collaborate on,” even though everyone is in their homes. Sarah said there’s another group they found that uses a similar image, however, she said their Photoshop skills are much better.

Rosie The Mask Maker was created by Trevor Barlett, Sarah’s boyfriend. Sarah acts as the Press contact for the group and also manages the Facebook page. She said, “If anybody has any materials they’d like to donate, we’re still accepting them!”

To request masks from our organization:

To volunteer:

Contact Seacoast Mask Makers:

Inquiries: Javi Kalbeck

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Instagram: @seacoastmaskmakers