ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Tompkins County Health Department is looking for volunteers to assist in mask-making efforts to be distributed to essential workers.

The Health Department is seeking volunteers who have sewing experience, can provide a sewing machine to the effort for use at the production facility (though this is not required) and have not been in close contact with an individual tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

If you are able to volunteer in this mask-making effort, email

“We’re inspired by the incredible mask-making efforts proliferating around the community, thank you to all of the volunteers who have stepped up so far, and to those who will answer this call,” said Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “While our guidance continues to be that people should be staying home unless absolutely necessary, when people must go out for essential work, medical needs, or groceries wearing a mask is required by New York State when social distance cannot be maintained.”

If someone is unable to volunteer onsite and is interested in volunteering to make masks at home with their own materials, they can sew at home using this mask-making technique.

Completed masks can be dropped off at the ‘So Sew Many’ blue boxes around Tompkins County listed below:

  • Angelo Dry Cleaners and Laundry at 315 Meadow St., Ithaca
  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union at 125 North Fulton St., Ithaca
  • Cayuga Heights Village Hall at 836 Hanshaw Rd., Cayuga Heights
  • Dryden Town Hall at 93 East Main St., Dryden
  • Eddydale Farm Stand at 827 Elmira Rd., Ithaca
  • Homespun at 51 East Main St., Trumansburg
  • Lansing Town Hall at 29 Auburn Rd., Lansing
  • Littlestone Upholstery at 210 West State St., Ithaca
  • Tompkins Community Action (by the main office door) at 701 Spencer Rd., Ithaca
  • Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce at 904 East Shore Dr., Ithaca

The following community partners have been involved in mask making efforts: Cornell University, Cayuga Health System, The Tompkins Chamber, Finger Lakes ReUse, Angelo’s Dry Cleaners, So Sew Many, Tompkins Mask Makers, Bryant Mask Makers, and other mask-making efforts throughout Tompkins County.

Essential businesses can request cloth masks for their employees through a process set up by the Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center. Go to the Tompkins County Health Department website for more information and updates.

Featured photo by Jacob Mroczek/The Ithaca Voice

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at