The RH Mask Donation Program: the Kindness and Creativity of our Volunteers and Supporters

judy regional hospice volunteer

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, volunteers Judy Rickert (left) and Yan Hurlbut (right) have generously offered to lead Regional Hospice’s mask donation project. Here’s a bit about our amazing volunteers and what you can do to help with this important initiative:

Why Do You Volunteer at Regional Hospice?

Judy recalls how RH cared for her mother. She describes the experience as having “the weight of the world lifted off of our shoulders. [Regional Hospice] had people coming out, and making my mother still feel like a person. They did so much for our family that I felt that someday I wanted to give back to them.” Today, Judy helps with administration duties and keeps our community nurses prepared by packing their comfort kits. Smiling as she describes her work, “hospice means everything to me!” 

Yan also comments on the loving care that our volunteers embody, “if you’re a volunteer at Regional Hospice, you already have the mindset that you want to help.” Yan greatly enjoys volunteering as a Family Support Volunteer as she is able to spread her love and kindness. Sometimes offering our patients an open-ear or helping with simple tasks like switching the TV channels, Yan makes sure that they’re “okay and comfortable.” 

What is the Mask Donation Project?

The project is a way to supply healthcare workers and RH visitors with the necessary protective equipment against COVID-19. Judy emphasizes this necessity, “the aides have to wear masks, and the nurses have to wear masks. The nurses and aides that go into the field need to use them too.” The project helps keep those who, “are taking care of the people that really need to be taken care of,” safe.

What Can You Do To Help?

Judy graciously states, “any little bit helps.” Judy and Yan have made the process incredibly easy, setting up an excel spreadsheet and a mask template that, as Yan describes, has “99% percent of [people’s] questions already answered”. Please find these links at the bottom of this article.

However, Judy and Yan urge mask-sewers to consider that “masks with filter pockets would be great, but we are also in need of simple 2-layer masks that may be more comfortable to wear due to the summer heat.” Either of these models are greatly appreciated. Additionally, the preferred mask-materials are “100% pre washed cotton [fabric] and elastic ear loops.” 

The need for masks continues to be just as dire as during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. As Judy and Yan wrote in a “call to action” email for the production of more masks, “the pandemic is still very much affecting us and it looks like we will be grappling with it for many months ahead until a vaccine is created and can be administered.” Both Yan and Judy are so grateful and send a heartfelt thanks to their “fabulous sewers.” 

From these sewers, the project has received a huge amount of donations. As Yan exclaims, “we’ve been lucky! We’ve been getting a lot of donations from all over!” Judy echoes this statement, appreciating our volunteers for being “so gracious to be donating their time and effort!” It has been an eye opening experience for Judy and Yan as they continue to encourage others to spread kindness by joining the mask donation project. 

If you’d like to sew masks for Regional Hospice, please email:
– Video:
– Pattern:

Reporting and writing by Elisabeth Chan