Masks will be donated to local hospitals and medical offices
DMACC Fashion Merchandising and Design students are now
making Olson masks from their homes to support local health care providers
responding to COVID-19. The Olson mask, a new modular mask named after 1930s
legendary nurse Lyla Mae Olson, was developed by clinicians from UnityPoint Health and is
currently being shared across the globe.
Approximately 10-15 DMACC students, under the direction of DMACC Fashion
Merchandising faculty members Alecia Mintle, Courtney Conlin, Gretchen Bohling
and Ann Gadbury, are sewing the masks from their respective homes.
“DMACC faculty members have created supply bags with the
materials needed to create 15 masks,” said DMACC Professor Ann Gadbury. “These
supply bags can be safely picked up by our DMACC Fashion Merchandising and
Design students at a designated local business.”
After picking up a supply bag, students then sew and return
the finished masks to the same location. The students may continue to take
additional supply bags each time they bring back a completed set of masks.
Gadbury said right now there has been very little expense
because faculty members and DMACC students have been donating their own
personal fabric. The only thing participants have needed to purchase is hair
She estimates it will take about 30 to 60 minutes to
complete each mask depending upon the skill level of the seamstress.
“We will be delivering the masks to local health care
providers,” Gadbury said. “And we’ll continue the project until supplies are gone
or demand is met.”
Des Moines area medical facilities will be the primary focus
of where the masks will be donated, Gadbury said, but requests have also come
in from small businesses such as chiropractic and dental offices.
“We currently have enough materials to make 300 masks, but
we are working on collecting more material,” Gadbury said.
The DMACC Ankeny Campus Student Activities Council (SAC) and
DMACC Fashion Club are also providing support for the project.
For more information, contact: Jeanie McCarville Kerber,