Project Mask Up Hawaii - March 22, 2020

Sew your own face mask!

Protect yourself and our kupuna!



In early March of 2020, long before it became mandatory, accepted, or popular our Board Chairman, Richard Ha felt compelled to go against the existing CDC guideline of not wearing a personal face mask. Little more than a week later, he and SEH launched "Project Mask Up Hawai‘i" beginning a campaign to protect our kupuna by encouraging everyone to wear personal face masks. In the beginning, it was not popular. As the conversation heated up, so did COVID-19 and it became everyone's kuleana to wear a face mask and protect others. 

Project Steps

  • Begin the mask-up conversation on social media using grassroots efforts.

  • Recruit kupuna and citizen groups to sew masks for kupuna and the community. 

  • Created a live page showcasing how to sew masks at home; the page was viewed more than 7000 times.

  • Facilitated and helped essential businesses/services with front line workers to receive face masks for distribution to their employees to help keep them safe. 

  • Helped organize mask sewing and recruitment efforts and messaging. 

  • Asked a multi-international business to donate surgical face masks (when no one could get them) we received a pledge for 5,000 masks. Masks were received and donated to a local community non-profit for distribution to hospitals and front-line workers. 

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