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Mask project surpasees goal

Maui Filter Face Mask Project volunteers hand bags containing dual-filter face masks to Mike Gagne, who loads them into a van at Seabury Hall on Friday afternoon to be delivered to Maui Memorial Medical Center. The 3,000 masks were among the last made through the project, which surpassed its goal of 10,000 masks for medical professionals and emergency first responders. “It’s a great thing to be a part of,” said Gagne, who did pickups and deliveries twice a week for seven weeks during the project. — The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo

About 150 volunteers helped make dual-filter face masks as part of the Maui Filter Face Mask Project led by Jennifer Oberg and Russell Van Dyken.

They surpassed their goal of 10,000 masks and delivered the last 3,000 on Friday.

The volunteers began working March 20 at Seabury Hall, which offered its first-floor high school classrooms as work space.

Thirty to 40 volunteers a day worked three shifts to assemble the masks that were distributed to medical professionals and emergency first responders, including nurses, police officers, firefighters, nursing home and home health workers, optometrists, dental hygienists, pediatric dentists and physical therapists.

Van Dyken designed the masks in consultation with the Kaiser Permanente Maui Lani Clinic team.

Jennifer Oberg, who helped lead the Maui Filter Face Mask Project, shows features of her dual-filter mask to Mayor Michael Victorino and his wife, Joycelyn, on Friday afternoon in one of the Seabury Hall classrooms used to assemble the masks. Victorino presented a county certificate of appreciation to Oberg and thanked a few dozen volunteers who were at the school as the last of the 10,000-plus masks were completed. By making the masks to help protect frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, “you help protect their families, which are our families,” Victorino said. — The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo

After starting off by making about 20 masks a day, volunteers were producing more than 600 masks a day at the end, said spokeswoman Kim Abrahamson. She said organizers developed ways to expedite and streamline the process, using power tools to cut multiple layers of filter. “I knew it would take a while,” Oberg said. “But the community really stepped up. They have just been so amazing.”

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