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Bakersfield nurse hopes to sew thousands of masks for healthcare workers

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A Bakersfield nurse is tackling the United State’s mask shortage by sewing thousands of cloth masks for the nation’s healthcare workers. 

A registered nurse for over 20 years, Julie Boyer said she knew she wanted to help when she heard about the sweeping mask shortage.

 “Healthcare workers, we’re not in it for the money,” Boyer said. “We do it because we love to care for people.”

A passion for people, inspired a passion to help those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We have a duty to protect each other,” Boyer said. “Nurses will do that, we’re like soldiers. We fight for each other.”

The fight to help thousands of healthcare workers began shortly after the shortage got worse. 

Boyer created Mask Relief, an organization that donates cloth masks to healthcare workers across the country. 

“Originally we wanted to make maybe 100, maybe 200,” Boyer said. “Well now we’re up to 40,000.”

With materials donated by High Seas Trading Co., Boyer, her son Matthew Pierce and a team of volunteers made thousands of masks in a matter of days. 

Boyer said she’s always looking for more volunteers.

“The more volunteers we have sewing masks, “ Boyer said. “The quicker we can put them out because everybody is having this problem right now.”  

 The masks go over the hospital-issued N-95 masks, and allow the N-95’s to last longer. 

“If you are in Kern County and you like to sew, please get in touch with us,” Boyer said. “We’d be more than happy to get you [a sewing kit.]”

Boyer said sewing masks are completely free and the organization will ship or deliver the materials to your home. 

Boyer has set up a GoFundMe page if you would like to donate to the cause.

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