More than 2,000 people have come forward to help Tidelands Health has closed its call for volunteers to help sew elastic straps on N95 respirators in just two days.

“We are blown away by the community’s support of our health care professionals on the front line of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic," Chief Nursing Officer Pam Maxwell said. “The outpouring of love and support means so much to our team. We are truly blessed.”

On Tuesday, Tidelands Health issued an urgent appeal for help sewing new elastic bands on thousands of new, never-used N95 respirators stored in its warehouse. The respirators were acquired during a previous public health emergency but never used, and the elastic straps have become brittle over time.

Distribution of respirators and sewing materials to volunteers began Thursday and will continue in the coming days. Tidelands Health is contacting volunteers in groups to facilitate effective distribution. Volunteers who signed up to participate will receive an email no later than Friday, April 3, with pick-up and return instructions.

“Our entire Tidelands Health team extends our gratitude to all the volunteers and to everyone in our region who has offered support during this challenging time,” Maxwell said. “We feel our community’s love, and it sustains us.”

Though sign-ups for the sewing effort have ended, more opportunities for community residents to support Tidelands Health will be shared going forward. An easy way to show support right now is to download and print a “Thank you to the helpers” sign for your home or vehicle. Download your free sign at tidelandshealth.org.