OUR Clemson

Making and donating cloth masks; one family’s response


Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended wearing a cloth face cover to prevent the spread of the virus, and published its guidance Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

While the University continues to move forward in a modified operational capacity, a number of facilities, housing, dining and other staff members deemed essential have continued to work on campus. In an effort to assist those essential workers while reserving the N-95 respirators and surgical masks for Clemson’s first responders and medical personnel, community volunteers are able to help sew and donate cloth masks to the University to be used by essential personnel during this critical time.

Picture of a family making homemade masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19
The Hurst and Burgess family at work sewing homemade masks for Facilities.

One family has already sprung into action when they read the new CDC guidance and asked how they could help. Kelly Burgess in the Office of Human Resources and Leigh Hurst in Facilities, their brother, Mart Carter and Leigh’s daughter, Maggie Hurst, a sophomore at Clemson, worked with other family members to sew and donate a total of 300 masks for Clemson’s essential facilities workers.

Picture of the homemade masks donated to Clemson
The Tiger Paw made a special appearance in these homemade masks for Facilities.

“Our family enjoys working together on number of projects,” said Burgess. “We are always canning or cooking together, so this project was a natural one for us, and we were happy to do it.”

Other members of the Clemson community can assist in donating face coverings for essential workers. A marked collection container in the warehouse area of the Administrative Services Building (ASB) is accepting donations weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

To assist in making cloth face coverings, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control prepared a video with instructions.



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