When the coronavirus pandemic hit our community, Monument Health contacted Western Dakota Technical Institute to be the leading force to make masks for the Rapid City area.
The group named themselves, “Masks for Rapid City.”
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those who can’t maintain social distancing, to wear a face covering to help prevent the virus from spreading. With this guidance, Monument Health wanted a way for more community members to have access to masks.
Each mask is made of high-quality fabric acquired from local businesses.
The fabric is then cut and washed at a local laundromat and then taken to WDT where it is put into kits, and then handed out to volunteers who sew and return the kits.
After the masks are brought back, they’re washed once more before being handed out. Each kit makes about 20 masks. It takes many hands and collaborative effort to make this endeavor successful.
Greg Kruskamp, the Senior Project Manager for E.R.P. at Monument Health, says,
“Trying to get the volunteers, just the coordination of the people who want to make a difference, just the collaboration and the coordination of those efforts – it does take a lot of work.”
The group has received generous donations and grant money to fund the mask materials. So far, ‘Masks for Rapid City’ has given out 13,500 masks in what has been a true community effort.
Stephanie Mayfield, the WDT Dir. of West River Area Health Education Center and Coordinator of Masks for Rapid City, says,