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 4871!): 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.)

Hello, Brigade!!! 

Great day but really busy day.  Lots of news to report! In our Zoom Incident Command Meeting, all of you were acknowledged by the hospital leaders and your part in helping to keep our healthcare workers and community safe with your actions of sewing masks and assembling gowns.  These seem like small acts perhaps to you, but they are monumental as this virus builds in our community. Thank you for continuing to help and stay plugged in as battle this virtually and united together, protecting our front line people as much as possible while we scour for authentic PPE including N95 1870+, surgical and procedure masks, and isolation gowns.

Mask report:

Yesterday we had 262 sewn masks dropped off!! (Check out the donation chart directly below.) At our Health Care Agency Leadership meeting, the Sewing Brigade has been asked by Health Care Agency Leadership to continue supporting sewing masks for essential workers. We are focused on healthcare workers, but we forget how many ancillary roles there are and social workers that have direct personal contact with the public. Our leaders asked our volunteers to PLEASE keep sewing cotton masks so essential county employees will have some protection, and if there are authentic PPE masks, they can be routed to the hospital.  We know that some of you are sewing for family and friends too.  Everyone is important!  We celebrate you using this gift and ask that you encourage others with the sewing gift to join us in this push to get mouths covered and keep germs to one’s self!

  • Mask-making for VC health care workers (now at 4871!): here
  • Drop off address: 765 Saratoga Avenue, Ventura, no need to call ahead.
Donations as of 4/9/20 9:31 pm
Surgical Masks1,968
ISO Gowns144
Sewn Masks4871
Baby Monitors88
Trash Bags11,695

Gown Brigade:

Supplies needed! We are putting out the plea for 55 gallon trash bags in 1.5 to 2 mil thickness for alternative PPE Gowns.  Think of businesses that maybe are closed to public that would have lots of trash bags.

Stay tuned, Gown Brigade!: The design improvement is almost completed and a video is being made by one of our retired VCMC ICU nurses Sheila Raives and her husband (thank you to the hosts of doctors and nurses for helping us get this new improved design prepared). Volunteers need  a clean flat surface like a dining room table, scissors, straight edge ruler, and an iron & ironing board.

Once we get that out, be prepared to start solid production as we will most likely need thousands!  Yes, THOUSANDS!!! Many hands make for light work during a pandemic, especially when we are safely staying home helping fight this war instead of armed with bullets and guns. Took pics of a sample alternative PPE gown out of a 55 gallon trash bag and asked my son, Tavish, to put it on so you could see one.


805CircleEffect donations

Help health care workers AND local restaurants! 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!! All of this is really healthy if you feel like you want to be involved but are not quite sure where to support.

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.

If you are on Instagram, Leonardo DiCaprio did a shout out to Ventura County Medical Center and World Central Kitchen!!! within 4 hours there were 1400 comments!  Follow HCFVC on all the social media mediums to stay tuned throughout the day too.


Other needs!

Cell phone charging cords!: As we clean out closets and drawers, please – save old cell phone cords, clean and mark the model and donate (sample pictured).  Staff are sharing that many people come to the hospital and don’t expect to be there and end up leaving their cell phone cord at home.  The charge nurses are going to keep the supply so patients can stay in touch with families. (picture below)

  • Drop off address: 765 Saratoga Avenue, Ventura, no need to call ahead.

RVs to lend to front line workers!: If you know someone with an RV that wants to potentially lend their in the event we need them, I am starting a list so we can be proactive.  Just email with name, cell, email, address and describe the vehicle so we can add it to the list.

Volunteers make this work!

It’s been fun to see couples and families working together, one sews, one drives, kids assembling. We have a grown daughter in Los Angeles who is separated from her Mom who lives here in Ventura County and they are bonded by this activity together.  Today, I got an email from Catherine Blickenstaff and her husband, Dr. Blickenstaff, delivered sewn masks to Gina’s house (pictured below).


Ellen Langston also shared her mask production!!! Thanks Ellen!

thumbnail_ECL first 20 masks 4-2020.jpeg

Must close for now but more definitely tomorrow. Please stay vigilant sewing as I was amazed to hear the leadership beckoning for cloth masks, my heart was full knowing how much love is poured into them and how desperate these leaders are for their essential workers protecting us all. Gown Brigade, rest up because the improved version of the gown is coming!!!!!

Much thanks to all.


Amy Towner

Originally posted at Indivisible Ventura. Re-posted with permission.

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