Orange County volunteers help community by making high quality face masks during COVID-19 pandemic

Volunteers in Orange County are helping the community by making high quality face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic
PLACENTIA, Calif. (KABC) -- As the pandemic stretches on, one thing remains constant: the need for masks. A group of volunteers in Orange County is dedicated to meet that need.

The North OC Masks for Outreach is a group of volunteers dedicated to making high quality face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"I was laid off from work on March 13 and I spent an entire week sitting on the couch crying watching the news, all the nurses and doctors begging for face masks and PPE, all the horror stories they were going through at that time," said Becky Kirchner.

She started a Facebook group and saw the number of volunteers go from 16 to 1,700 in just weeks. And thanks to their hard work, the volunteers and their families have made about 67,000 masks.

"To first responders, homeless shelters, abused women shelters, youth shelters for troubled teens, police, firemen, you name it we've covered 'em," said Kirchner.

One volunteer brought her children to help make the masks to teach them a lesson about helping others.

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Riverside County is ramping up efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by distributing 10 million face masks to its residents.

"I didn't want to keep telling them to look for the helpers, I wanted them to be the helpers and so I tried to figure out ways we could help from home and stay safe until we could figure out what the grounding was on this whole COVID thing," said Antoinette Saunders.

The group wants to serve the community with love and concern for those who need face masks or have the inability to buy a mask.

"I'm very glad we can provide someone a way to just walk into a grocery store you know this doesn't have to be a political thing it can be a very simple caring thing that we do for our fellow neighbors," said Saunders.

How to make face masks from materials found at home
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Southern California resident Jennifer Ruvalcaba, known as Randomly Riley on Instagram, shows us how to make face masks at home.

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