Marion County teacher makes more than 1,000 surgical masks to help medical professionals

Coronavirus

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Tori Stiles, a middle school teacher in Marion county has been sewing for anywhere between eight and 12 hours a day to help fill the need for surgical masks in the area, and around the country.

“I’ve never sewn masks before but about a week ago when I found out through facebook a lot of our healthcare providers didn’t have the appropriate protection and they were calling on all crafters to make face masks so they could protect themselves. I felt like that was something I could do.”

On top of providing online lesson plans for her students, Stiles is using her own time and resources to provide surgical masks for healthcare workers. She said anyone who knows how to use a sewing machine can do the same.

“Anybody that has any idea how to work a sewing machine can definitely sew one of these, it’s pretty much just a rectangular piece of fabric,” said Stiles. “You are only sewing straight seams there’s really not a lot of difficulty that goes into making them.”

After seeing how many she could make in one day, Stiles set a goal for herself to make 1,000 masks and surpassed that goal by twenty last Saturday. She’s also taking extra precautions to ensure her masks are safe and uncontaminated.

“I wash the fabric in hot water and I dry it on hot,” Stiles explained. “I wash my hands a million times a day and I don’t bring anything in here that wasn’t already here. Before they leave they get washed and dried again. I steam them with a heat press at I think it’s 325°, then they get steamed and put into a ziplock baggy.”

Stiles is collecting supplies such as elastic to continue making masks for medical professionals in need. To donate materials you can contact her at stilesvictoria@gmail.com

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