Dana Smith of Clínica Amistad and IDMS art teacher (and dear friend and benefactor) Susan Gamble, plus other awesome volunteers, are using the now-empty school building as headquarters for a rapidly growing cooperative of low-income Tucsonans – mostly women, mostly refugees – who are sewing nearly 1000 cloth masks a week to donate to health workers and people who cannot readily afford them.
Together for Hope, Resiliency, Empowerment And Development (THREAD) participants earn $3.50 per mask to help support their families while staying safe at home. Materials, sewing machines, and organizing have thus far been donated. Project leaders now are in talks with local businesses and community organizations to start selling the masks and other products to make the project self-supporting.
Generous and timely emergency grants from Stonewall Foundation of Tucson, UNIDAS (the Women’s Foundation youth arm), McCallister Family Foundation, and Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, plus extraordinary gifts by the school’s Board members and other kind community supporters have made this response possible.
Donations to the project are being received by IDMS and are tax-deductible. (Simply make a note that your donation is for the project.) You can donate here.
This is Tucson did a fabulous story on this effort – you can read it here.