LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Traditional face masks can make it difficult to see and read a person’s facial expression. Clear face masks are one solution and they’re in big demand. One group on the Coast is working to make hundreds of them for educators.
The hum of a sewing machine has become a familiar sound in Heather Miller’s garage.
She has been working with the group Mississippi Sewing to make hundreds of face masks for people across the Coast.
Now, she’s working on a new pattern: face masks with a transparent material around the mouth.
In just the past few days, they’ve already received 500 requests for the clear face masks from local teachers.
“Educators really want them. They’re preparing for going back to school with the knowledge that many of them will be required to wear them when they’re in the classroom with the students,” Miller said.
Miller said the clear masks will be beneficial in the classroom.
“They’re really useful when you’re dealing with a student who is going through speech therapy, a student who is needing assistance learning how to mouth certain words and syllables. Educators in the deaf education community need them for students to be able to see their lips and for them to be able to see their students’ lips also,” she said.
The group is hoping they'll be able to keep up with the demand.
They’re also continuing to make traditional face masks, and demand for those has skyrocketed due to new mask requirements in Harrison and Jackson Counties.
“Immediately after the announcement was made, I had at least 15 people contact me, and I’ve had dozens more since then,” Miller said.
“My messenger hasn’t stopped, I actually have to go on Tuesday on my day off and go through everything, and start making a list of everything that people need,” said Barbara Lynn Matula, who organized the group.
To date, the group has made more than 10,000 masks, and they have no plans to stop any time soon.
“Just the fact that we can help so many people just by this, and I don’t even know what to say. I’m shocked that we can help so many,” Matula said.
The group said they are in need of more donations and volunteers as demand for their masks grows.
If you’re interested in helping out or want to request a mask, you can email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masks are free, but donations are accepted and encouraged, especially for large orders.