Tompkins County: Call for additional mask-making volunteers

Local News

ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – Following the Governor’s Executive Order 202.16, the Tompkins County Health Department is initiating a collaborative effort to produce and distribute cloth masks for essential workers. Essential businesses can request cloth masks for their employees through a process set up by the Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center.

If you are able to volunteer in this mask-making effort, please email

The Health Department is seeking volunteers who:

  • Have sewing experience, though we will need additional volunteers for cutting materials and supporting the sewers
  • Can provide a sewing machine to the effort for use at the production facility (not required)
  • Have not been in close contact with an individual tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days

Volunteers will be contacted by a Tompkins County official and will be invited to assist in mask production efforts.

If someone is unable to volunteer onsite and is interested in volunteering to make masks at home with their own materials, we recommend using this mask sewing technique. Completed masks can be dropped off at the So Sew Many blue boxes around Tompkins County listed below:

  • Angelo Dry Cleaners and Laundry at 315 Meadow St., Ithaca
  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union at 125 North Fulton St., Ithaca
  • Cayuga Heights Village Hall at 836 Hanshaw Rd., Cayuga Heights
  • Dryden Town Hall at 93 East Main St., Dryden
  • Eddydale Farm Stand at 827 Elmira Rd., Ithaca
  • Homespun at 51 East Main St., Trumansburg
  • Lansing Town Hall at 29 Auburn Rd., Lansing
  • Littlestone Upholstery at 210 West State St., Ithaca
  • Tompkins Community Action (patio in back) at 701 Spencer Rd., Ithaca
  • Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce at 904 East Shore Dr., Ithaca

Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director stated “We’re inspired by the incredible mask-making efforts proliferating around the community, thank you to all of the volunteers who have stepped up so far, and to those who will answer this call.” Kruppa continued, “While our guidance continues to be that people should be staying home unless absolutely necessary, when people must go out for essential work, medical needs, or groceries wearing a mask is required by New York State when social distance cannot be maintained.”

Efforts will continue to expand mask availability to the general public as supplies become available. Individuals are encouraged to make their own masks, here’s guidance from the Tompkins County Health Department on the use of cloth masks.

The Tompkins County Health Department extends sincere thanks to the following partners involved; Cornell University, Cayuga Health System, The Tompkins Chamber, Finger Lakes ReUse, Angelo’s Dry Cleaners, So Sew Many, Tompkins Mask Makers, Bryant Mask Makers, and other mask making efforts throughout Tompkins County.

Go to the Tompkins County Health Department website for more information and updates.

Find us on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter@TompkinsHealth.

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