MEDFORD (CBS) — Local clothing designer Kelly Dempsey, who was the runner up on Project Runway season 14, has a talent she is putting to good use. With the shortage of medical masks caused by the coronavirus crisis, she’s been able to organize sewers everywhere to make masks for healthcare workers who need them.

It started Friday when some nurses reached out to her over social media to ask if she could make medical masks for healthcare professionals who were going without.

“I didn’t know it was such a crazy thing going on right now so I was like ‘I could make some masks for people,'” she said.

Local fashion designer Kelly Dempsey (WBZ-TV)

So Dempsey posted on her Instagram to see if there were any local hospitals she could donate masks to. To her surprise, she woke up the next day with 100 messages from nurses in dire need.

“I can’t believe the out-pour of messages I got. It was absolutely insanity,” she said.

Healthcare workers from all over the country were asking her for masks. They told her hospitals were rationing masks, so they were being told to use bandanas and scarves instead.

But many people she heard from work at local hospitals like Brigham and Women’s, Winchester Hospital, Good Samaritan in Brockton, Beth Israel Deaconess and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Knowing she it would be an impossible task to make all those masks, Dempsey posted an easy tutorial YouTube video on how to make the masks on her Instagram. By Saturday, the video had almost 260,000 views.

“We’re all stuck at home right now and these people are forced to go out and deal with it on the front lines,” she said. “If anyone needs help right now, it’s them.”

Medical masks made by Kelly Dempsey. (Photo Courtesy: Kelly Dempsey)

Dempsey said the masks take between 15 and 30 minutes to make. She thinks the mask-making is catching on because a lot of people who sew wanted to help in this time of crisis but didn’t know how.

“I have an amazing platform on Instagram and I want to use it to help out when people need it,” she said.

Dempsey now has a list of healthcare workers who need masks, and is sending it out to the sewers so that they can send the masks directly and make sure everyone who needs them gets some.

To watch the video on how to make masks, click here. 



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