A New Marin Partnership Means Masks for All Frontline Workers

What started as a modest effort by Marin resident and business owner Johanna La Fleur to get high-quality, reusable and washable face masks to the county’s essential workers, particularly in the Canal District, has mushroomed into something much larger. “I began in partnership with Canal Alliance to produce masks locally through a network of home-based sewers almost entirely in the Canal District,” says La Fleur, who used her expertise with fabric and sewing garnered through her San Rafael–based canvas bag and home textile business EQUIPE; she donates one mask for every two sold on her site. The first 2,000 masks were delivered to at-risk frontline workers through the alliance’s food pantry days on Tuesday. “They were desperately needing masks and loved the idea that they could have masks that were made by the community for the community.” The idea was so successful that now Kaiser Permanente, the County of Marin, City of San Rafael, the Canal Alliance and Marin Health and Human Services have joined the MarinTogether effort with a goal of raising funds, generating awareness and getting 10,000-plus masks produced. You can help by donating $20, which will produce three masks for those in need and keep the sewers employed. “My family and I feel happy to be helping our community,” says sewer Anabel Vicente. “We are thankful to have been able to join EQUIPE in sewing these masks, which helped us create income in a moment of crisis and gave us the opportunity to keep communities safe.”

Sewer Anabel Vicente

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