The COVID-19 fight has brought many changes into our daily lives, but one thing hasn’t changed – our community’s ability to come together in a time of need.
That’s exactly what makeSPACE in Spearfish is doing with their Masks for Monument project. With the help of many community members, makeSPACE is facilitating the sewing of cloth masks for Monument Health so that caregivers have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) as they treat COVID-19 patients.
makeSPACE is a place where community members can enjoy art and bikes as a tool for engagement. Their location on 517 Jackson Boulevard has a bike shop, open art hours and mini-maker hours for pre-k children. makeSPACE operates on a donation basis. Since community is so important to their organization, they organized Masks for Monument as soon as they heard Monument Health was accepting hand-sewn masks.
Elizabeth Freer is the Board Chair of makeSPACE. She had the idea for Masks for Monument after speaking with some of her friends who are physicians. She had seen similar programs in other communities through social media and thought it was the perfect project for the Black Hills.
“It’s a way to give people a sense of purpose and leverage all of these creative souls to come together,” said Freer.
Freer immediately got to work on a few mask prototypes and got in touch with Greg Kruskamp with Monument Health’s supply chain. When the Spearfish community heard about the project, they jumped on board. The Spearfish Community Foundation, Northern Hills Training Center and South Dakota Community Foundation all gave matching grants of $1,500, totaling $4,500, to makeSPACE for the Masks for Monument project.
So far, the makeSPACE team has purchased 400 yards of fabric from Dakota Quilt Company and anticipate buying more. Spearfish Laundry and Dry Cleaning donated cleaning services for the fabric that will be used to making masks, and the City of Spearfish lent Hudson Hall to makeSPACE to sort materials and distribute sewing kits. A full list of all the organizations who have helped with this project can be found at http://makespacesd.org/covid.html.
“Everyone has really come to the table and said, ‘We can contribute.’ I think that’s how Spearfish operates,” she said.
Materials for the masks and printed patterns can be picked up at 222 W. Hudson St. in Spearfish on Mondays from 2 to 3 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., and Fridays from Noon to 1 p.m. To continue social distancing, the makeSPACE volunteers will either leave materials outside of your car for you to safely pick up or deliver them to your car window.
The makeSPACE bike co-op is working on a bike delivery and pick-up service to further support those who are not able to leave their homes but want to help sew masks. Freer said those who can’t sew can still help with the project by donating materials or by offering to clean and cut materials for someone who can sew.
Completed masks can be dropped off at the Spearfish Salvation Army during their open hours from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or to the pick-up location on Hudson Street during the above pick-up times. The Salvation Army is also accepting donated materials for the project. For more information on Masks for Monument, visit http://makespacesd.org/covid.html. All masks donated to Monument Health will be kept within our market area.