Questions and Answers

General questions

What kind of masks are these?

Reusable, non-medical grade, fabric face masks for adults and children. There are several different styles that work well. Masks will vary based on what the maker creates. We’re asking all makers to create comfortable masks using new or lightly-used fabrics that adhere to the latest CDC guidelines.

Whom can I contact if I need additional help?

If you can’t find what you need in this Q&A, you can send us a note at help@maskhelpers.org.

Where do you recommend I make donations?

Tax-deductible donations to our fund will go towards the purchase fabric, thread, elastic and postage for makers.

How many masks can I request?

You can request one mask for every person who needs one. For example, if you need masks for a family of three, order three masks. If you need masks for a larger group of people, the same one-per-person rule applies. Please don’t order more masks than you need. Masks are washable and reusable.

For those who need masks

Can I request a medical-grade mask?

No. Medical-grade masks should go to medical professionals. If you have medical-grade masks, please donate them to your local hospital.

What kind of mask will I get?

We are asking makers to create reusable, non-medical grade, fabric face masks. Styles, patterns and colors will vary based on each maker and the supplies they have on hand.

Can I choose my style/color?

Probably not. You can specify what you would prefer in your request, but because our makers are working with a variety of supplies, they will only be able to make certain masks. The important thing is that you wear a mask, so please be flexible with colors and styles. Every mask will be unique and made with love.

Who will pay for shipping?

Your mask maker is responsible for shipping the mask to you. Most masks can be mailed using stamps through the USPS. Some makers also accept donated stamps and materials.

Can I pay something for these masks or for shipping?

If you’re able to contribute, you can donate materials or stamps to mask makers. You can also make tax-deductible donations to our fund so that we can purchase fabric, thread, elastic and postage for makers.

How will my privacy be protected from the other party?

Please read our Privacy Policy.

I was matched with a maker but I never received my mask(s). What do I do?

If your maker doesn't begin your request after a period of time we will match you with another maker. If you never received your mask but it was marked as shipped, you can request a new one after two weeks.

For those who make masks

What kind of masks am I making?

We’re asking you to make reusable, non-medical grade, fabric face masks for adults and children. Masks should meet the latest CDC guidelines. Exact style is entirely up to you, we just ask that it’s a quality, clean mask that can be washed. All masks you donate must be made from new or lightly used fabrics without holes or stains. Please wrap masks in a sandwich baggie before shipping to keep them from getting dirty.

Do I need to make a certain number of masks?

No. You will help by making just one mask.

Who will pay for shipping?

We’re asking makers to pay for shipping the order. If you need envelopes or stamps, we can help connect you with someone willing to donate supplies. You can ship most small orders through the USPS without leaving your home, using stamps and an envelope.

I have some new masks I already made or purchased elsewhere. Can I donate them now?

Yes, by signing up as a maker and connecting with people who need them.

How is my privacy protected?

Please read our Privacy Policy.

If the order is local, can I drop it off?

For your safety—unless you’re dropping off a large order at your local hospital or non-profit—we ask that you only ship masks to individuals.

What is the least expensive way to mail masks?

Unless you’re mailing eight or more masks to the same address using stamps, it’s cheaper to mail masks individually. For example, if you’re making masks for two people in a single household, you could mail them separately to the same address. This would require two envelopes, each needing one stamp. On the other hand, if you mailed both masks in a larger envelope, it could require up to 10 stamps.

For those distributing masks

What is a distribution center?

A distribution center is any location, business or organization that is safely distributing masks to the public for free.

Can I sell masks?

No. Please only register if you’re distributing masks for free. We will remove any listings that are using MaskHelpers.org as a way to profit.

What types of masks can I distribute?

Non-medical grade, fabric face masks for adults and children that meet CDC guidelines. We're only registering distribution centers that have masks for the general public that aid in social distancing. We're not registering centers that are only distributing medical grade masks.

How does becoming a distribution center work?

After you register, people looking for a mask will be able to find your organization on our map and be directed to pick one up from your location.

Are we required to ship masks?

No. When you register as a distribution center, you won’t be asked to ship masks. If you'd like to be a distribution center and you can also ship masks, please register as a maker and we'll send you a list of people who need masks shipped to them.

We have masks but no way to distribute them. How can I help?

Please look for a distribution center in your area and consider donating masks to them for distribution. Or, email us and we can help find someone to distribute your masks.

What happens if we run out of masks?

You can log in and update your profile and remove it from our list of distribution centers.

How many masks do I need to have to be a distribution center?

There is no requirement for a number of masks. We welcome any organization or group that has the ability to safely distribute masks.

Makers who need supplies

What kind of supplies can I request?

Only the consumables you require to make and mail masks. Fabric, thread, elastic, envelopes and stamps.

Who will pay for shipping supplies to the makers?

If you request supplies, we ask the donor to cover the shipping of the items to you.

Do I have to commit to a certain number of masks before I request supplies?

In most cases, you should only request the supplies needed to make masks over the next three months. We ask that you use all of the supplies sent to you, and that you complete all orders you’ve committed to. If you have supplies left, please donate them to another maker.

Donating supplies

What kinds of supplies can I donate?

Envelopes, USPS postage stamps, fabric, thread and elastic. Please make sure that all items you donate are in new or like-new condition.

Where can I donate supplies?

Create a donor account and we'll match you with a maker that needs supplies.

What kind of envelopes should I donate?

Most of all, mask makers need envelopes to mail masks individually. For this we recommend 3.5 by 6.5 inch coin envelopes. For larger envelopes, 6 by 9 inch or slightly larger poly or bubble mailers are best.

Who is responsible for paying to ship the supplies to the mask maker?

We ask the person donating the supplies to cover shipping.

Can I send money directly to the maker to buy supplies?

For your protection, don’t send money to others through this site. You can make tax-deductible donations to our fund and we'll purchase fabric, thread, elastic and postage for makers.