Five Ways to Help Distribute Face Masks to Trans and Queer Neighbors

The Pittsburgh MasQUe ProjecT continues to distribute face masks to trans and queer households throughout the region. We are now in our fourth full month and have distributed more than 1500 masks through a network of volunteer sewists, drivers, packers, and others whose work is essential to this effort. Some have gone to individuals, others to community groups for redistribution to their own members including Garden of Peace, SisTers Pgh, Shepherd Wellness Community, True T Pgh, Project Silk, Pittsburgh Transgender Pride, and several trans and queer led marches and protests.  If your organization needs masks, please reach out to us.

 

Wish List – we need stuff. Envelopes for masks mailed out of the area. Plastic and paper bags to pack the masks. Plastic gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.  So we set up a wish list where you can directly order these items for us or you can see what’s needed and purchase elsewhere. Our list is also at the end of this post. Consider that each mask is encased in three different bags and you can see what we go through them quickly. COVID-19 requires these to be new in the box.

Volunteer – we rely 100% on volunteers to pack the masks into bags, to deliver the masks, to prepare the envelopes and pack them with mailed masks, to SEW, to rummage stashes of facric, and to get the word out that we are here to help. You can sign up to volunteer at this link or email [email protected]

Sew – sewists make our work possible. We have some corporate sources, but we specifically need masks for children to go back to school and we have a new pattern designed with the input of trans men to reduce being misgendered. Our sewists are wonderful and we need more of them. We try to get supplies when requested. You can make 10 masks or 100. You can make a few each week. You can connect us with your sewist sister-in-law or coworker who wants to know where to donate.

Pack & Sort – we receive batches of masks that have to be repackaged into individual plastic baggies and then those bagged masks put into brown lunch bags. This is not hard work, but it can be a lot of work. If you are willing to be a “packer” for us, we’ll drop off the bulk masks and bags. You can work at your own pace. Our requirement here is that the home be smokefree and that you keep pets away from the masks. We are also putting together swag bags. These are ongoing tasks.

Donate – we absolutely need funds. And we have multiple ways to give.

Thank you for your continued support.

Here is our general needs wishlist. If you want to pick these items up on your own travels about town or during your shopping that would be fantastic.

  • Plastic bags, new in sealed box, sandwich and snack size, quart size useful too.
  • Brown paper lunch bags. 
  • Peal and seal envelopes, 6×9 and 9×12 or similar sizes. 
  • Wet wipes for volunteers
  • Hand sanitizer, any size any variety. 
  • Disinfectant wipes, any brand. 
  • Sharpies, black ink. 
  • Stamps
  • Scotch tape (to affix labels and seal envelopes securely)
  • Server space – we need to move our database to a server that can handle it. Can you spare us some space on yours? 

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