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Harrisonburg Fire Department receives donation of homemade masks

HFD Interim Chief Stephen Morris receives the donated masks from Phillip Helmuth, who organized the effort. Photo courtesy City of Harrisonburg.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department received a donation of homemade masks for first responders in the city to use as needed.

Harrisonburg resident Phillip Helmuth organized the production of the masks, which were made using design recommendations from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Helmuth was able to organize more than 60 volunteers from the Mennonite community to include, Old Orders, Dayton Mennonite Church, Park View Mennonite Church, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Zion Mennonite Church, Lindale Mennonite Church, Dressed Up Threads, and Mennonite Disaster Service, willing to take their time to sew.

Dressed Up Threads, a business located in Dayton, donated the material and cut the material to spec for all the volunteer sewers.

“We are very grateful to volunteers who stepped up to provide either talents, time or material,” HFD Interim Chief Stephen Morris said. “With personal protective equipment at a premium, these masks will be critical in protecting our first responders during this unprecedented time.”

The group has promised up to 1,000 of the homemade masks over the next several weeks.

For individuals or groups interested in assisting in making PPE for City first responders, please contact the Harrisonburg Fire Department, Monday through Friday, at 540-432-7703.