Raíces Mutual Aid Response to COVID-19

Raíces Cultural Center has taken on a mutual aid initiative to provide supplies, support, and information within and around our community, in any way we have the ability to do so. Please continue checking back to this page for updates and new ways to help mobilize in our community in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Raíces Mask Making Initiative

Raíces has begun our mask making initiative. In Phase 1 of the project, the Raíces crew, along with one mutual aid network volunteer from our local community handcrafted and donated 50 fabric masks along with 50 donated surgical masks to Capital Health Hospital in Hopewell, NJ. In addition, we made and distributed 25 fabric masks to members of the Raíces Community who were in need of reusable and washable face coverings.

Now we are close to the end of our upcycled and donated fabric, and we have been contacted by a group of seamstresses from the local community who want to volunteer to continue sewing masks. We are looking forward to working cooperatively with these volunteers, acquiring and dropping off the raw materials, and picking up the finished products for distribution to the hospital and local community members in need.

We are launching the Raíces Coronavirus Cooperative Campaign to raise the funds to keep this project going. With a goal of $300, we will be able to produce and donate an additional 400 fabric face masks to Capital Health Hospital as well as local community members in need. Help us reach our goal!

Calling All Crafters - Homemade Masks Needed

Want to join in the initiative? We are looking for more local friends who sew who would like to join in this collaborative effort. A friend and supporter of Raíces is a nurse at Capital Health, a Central NJ hospital that is looking for fabric surgical masks. These masks are being used for healthcare providers, and any number of masks is greatly appreciated. 

For the hospital donations to Capital Health, they are asking for masks made from 100% tightly woven cotton with cloth ties in order to be most effective. No elastic, no fibrous material and no metal. The inside of the mask should be made with a solid color inside and a patterned fabric outside so that the inside is easily identifiable from the outside of the mask for healthcare providers. For donation to local community members, masks can be made with elastic. Please see the video tutorial below for instructions and pattern.

If you want to join in the effort, please send us an email to raices@raicesculturalcenter.org or call us at 732-236-7618 (Nicole) or 908-227-5671 (Francisco).

Don’t sew but want to help? Make a financial donation to help us acquire the materials for more masks. We will also take donations of 100% tightly woven cotton cloth until this initiative ends. Get in touch to arrange a drop off!

Please share this page to help us spread the word!


Resource Sharing: Face Shields Available to Northern NJ & NY Metro Hospitals

Raíces is in contact with a group of teachers working with 3-D printers to create full face shields in NY state and Bergen County NJ. They are currently producing around 300 face shields per day, and just yesterday received enough materials to make a total of 16,000 in the coming weeks. If you know of a hospital in northern NJ or the NY metro area who is in need of face shields, please email us with contact information and the amount of face shields being requested and we will pass the information and request on to the group and get you in direct contact with them.