Clintonville business collecting sewn face masks for health care workers, others in need

(WBNS)
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A Clintonville business is asking community members and crafters to help sew face masks for those who may need them.

Wild Cat Gift and Party, formerly known as Wholly Craft, is a gift store located in Clintonville. The owner said they are one of many businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, having to close their doors for the time being.

Owner Olivera Bratich knew she wanted to do something to help others during this tough time. She posted on Wild Cat's social media pages, asking the community for help.

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"We reached out to one of our former staff members who is working as a nurse now and asked, 'Is this useful? is this something healthcare workers will need?'" Bratich said.

She's talking about homemade sewn face masks. Bratich set up a 24-hour drop-off box just around the corner from of her business off of High Street. The drop-off box is at Wild Cat's Clubhouse at 15 W. Dunedin Rd.

"If you spoke to any medical professional, they want their professional masks they want to make sure to have access to N95 masks the problem is, the question is will they have it at the height of this," Bratich said.

That is why she said she wants to help create a back-up plan in case it is needed. She said she is aware hospitals may not be able to accept homemade sewn face masks, but if the possibility is there, she wants to be ready.

"There are plenty of secondary healthcare workers and other essential workers that can use them, we've been contacted by rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and grocery store workers," Bratich said.

10TV reached out to Nationwide Children's Hospital to see if they would accept the masks and if not, what were they accepting.

A spokesperson said responded with this statement:

"At this time, Nationwide Children's Hospital is not accepting handmade fabric masks. In terms of medical supplies, Nationwide Children's is accepting new, in original packaging, never-used and unopened N95 respirators, surgical masks, ear loop and duckbill masks of all sizes, face shields, exam gloves, hand sanitizer that has greater then 60% alcohol, hand sop, eye protection and more. Donations are being accepted at the hospital's Outpatient Care Center located at 555 South 18th Street, Columbus from 12-5pm, starting on Monday March 30."

At OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, a spokesperson gave this statement:

"We are very grateful to everyone in the community who has volunteered to make face masks and other personal protective equipment for frontline caregivers in our hospitals and care sites. We are currently assessing possible uses for this donated equipment and will have a decision soon. We are incredibly proud of this community and those who have reached out to help. Their spirit is nothing sort of moving."

The owner of Wild Cat said there are tutorial videos on how to sew the masks on their Facebook page which can be found here.

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