Status of Ventura County’s front line volunteer efforts.

9 mins read

More news about our amazing community here in Ventura County! 

Quick links: 

  • Mask-making for VC health care workers (now at 4383!): here
  • Volunteer opportunities, including those for healthcare workers, in Ventura County: here.
  • Want to be part of the new Gown Brigade? Go here.

(Information below from Amy Towner, CEO – Health Care Foundation for Ventura County.)

Good evening Brigade!!! 

Thanks to the mask sewers and we still need more!: What an amazing day!  Our hospital leadership thanks all of you! Dr. Fankhauser actually said the unavailability of PPE was keeping him up at night and with the support of our Brigade and the flattening of the curve he is getting rest.  He warns that we can’t let down our guard.  We had 533 sewn masks today and look at the donations below!! We need to continue safe sheltering at home and the need for masks is still a must for staff.


How many masks do we need?: We had 533 sewn masks today and 73 yesterday, but Dr. Fankhauser warns us not to let down our guard. We need to keep production going based upon the usage that we will have at the hospital, laundering turnaround time and multiple mask wears in one day. (Indivisible Ventura – the original 3500 goal was for ONE day!!! Who knew?! Our community’s efforts blew through that goalpost in 2 weeks!)

Masks aren’t just for hospital staff!: Others in our county system are reaching out for help. Deanna Handel (who is also sewing masks her self at night) from Whole Person Care called and needed 300 masks for our homeless population to prevent the spread of disease in a population who does not have readily available access to basic hygiene all the time.  Within an hour we had 300 masks to Deanna and she was able to deploy them immediately through the county, city  and nonprofit network.

Ventura County works together: As the public county hospital system, we work collaboratively with everyone including our neighboring hospitals. Over the weekend, CMH needed some cartridges and we exchanged those for some swabs that we can use for COVID tests as we are short.  Our hospitals are so collaborative protecting the community.  We are stronger all working together!!! So PLEASE keep sewing, these masks are a first line of defense as the Public Health Officer stated in the address.  We need to keep the sewing machines sewing and social distancing as we flatten the curve. Below are todays donations.

Donations as of 4/7/20 8:36 pm
Surgical Masks1,960
ISO Gowns144
Sewn Masks4383
Baby Monitors87
Trash Bags11,695

The Gown Brigade need 55 gallon trash bags: This team is getting assembled for our non-sewers who can wield an iron on a trash bag!!! If you want to be on the gown brigade email list, please send an email to with your name, cell, email and home address.  We have posted on social media that we need 55 gallon trash bags so any businesses that you can think of that won’t have business for a couple months and spare trash bags we are collecting them for the Gown Brigade. Drop off donations of trashbags at 765 Saratoga Avenue, Ventura.


Thank you StemBassadors and teenagers across Ventura County who created and donated over 1,000 face shields to healthcare workers. Our community is stronger because of community partners like you! Donate today to help students deliver the next 1,000 to our local hospitals.

805 Circle Effect gift certificates: We are launching the 805 Circle Effect with local restaurants.  Patrons can purchase gift certificates to thank a healthcare worker which will ultimately help our local economy.  Restaurants can email and a volunteer will put them on the roster. Follow your favorite restaurants on Facebook and Instagram, you can also follow Health Care Foundation for Ventura County and we will be posting when restaurants are a part of this program.  Important for us to support each other and the economic vitality of our region!!

Service group or organizations:  If community members are a part of a service group or organization and want to participate they can donate to the restaurants or if they want to participate individually that is terrific too! Tonight we got a call from a local Rotary Club meeting virtually who want to participate and buy certificates from local restaurants for healthcare heroes.

Mail certificates here: The certificates collected may be mailed to Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, 3291 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, CA 93003 or coordinate with  for a safe drop off.  Certificates will get distributed to Hospital Administration Operations.

Local help!: Happy to report that Ventura Spirits pivoted its business and is producing FDA approved hand sanitizer for hospitals. It is a pleasure to support local businesses in this time of crisis. Other distilleries are using their production capacity to make hand sanitizer as well.

Aaron Bergh, of Calwise Spirits Co. in Paso Robles, uses his distillery to make sanitizer for law enforcement agencies, including the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, amid coronavirus-related shortages. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Thank you for your continued commitment to the Brigades of sewing masks and ironing gowns!!!  The health and wellness of our community depends on it.  Our goal is to be creative and resourceful as a community when we can not source typical products.

Here’s a VCMC video for health care workers. Take a minute to watch – it shows how much care must be taken to keep themselves and their patients safe!

Supervisor Kelly Long publicly thanked all of you in her Board of Supervisors meeting today.  We are stronger and more vital because of the strength and unity of our community!!!! Brigade Strong!

Contacts: As stated yesterday and prior to that, we have a team of volunteers that are answering emails in  If we have not answered you, please reach out again. Every message is important and we want to stay connected.  We appreciate all the pictures, leads, and introductions to others who want to be engaged like you!!!

The health and vitality of our community depends on our collective support of one another.  Thank you for leaning in during this time.

Best,Amy Towner

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