Emilie Rusch

Volunteers needed to produce 14,000 cloth masks for Mines community

Make Masks for Mines: "Orediggers thrive when presented with a challenge, and this is one we all benefit from."

A volunteer effort led by two staff members in the Mining Engineering Department aims to produce 14,000 cloth masks for Mines students and employees by July 1.

Brent Duncan modeling a mask
EMI's Brent Duncan models one of the masks being made by Mining Engineering's Bruce Yoshioka.

Brent Duncan, manager of the Earth Mechanics Institute, and Bruce Yoshioka, lab coordinator in the Mining Department, are spearheading the Make Masks for Mines effort, with support from donors, the Colorado School of Mines Foundation and the Office of Mines President Paul C. Johnson.

“Mines prides itself on being a tight-knit community, and we really are we help and support each other,” Duncan said. “COVID-19 is an opportunity to showcase the power of that community to everyone at Mines, as well as alumni and the greater community as a whole. Orediggers thrive when presented with a challenge, and this is one we all benefit from.”

Volunteers with the skill, will and sewing machines are asked to sign up via an online form to make masks as soon as possible. Volunteers will receive a mask pattern, mailing instructions and/or pickup and drop-off instructions. Local volunteers can also schedule a time to pick up Mines-furnished fabric for the project.

If your talents don’t include sewing but you’d still like to support the Make Masks for Mines effort, you can make donations to The Mines Fund today.

Yoshioka has been sewing masks for friends and family since the statewide stay-at-home order began. A conversation one evening with Duncan led to the idea to try to make masks for everyone on campus. When the two approached Mines leadership, they jumped to support the idea.

No matter when students, faculty and staff return to campus, many will likely need a mask.

“Masks and social distancing are going to be a reality for many more months to come,” Duncan said. “In an effort to encourage everyone to come back to campus and to help all of us stay healthy, as well as to use the might and community spirit of Mines, we thought it would be a great initiative.”

The materials for the masks have already been ordered. The team believes they can reach their goal with 100 volunteers – although more is always better, Duncan said.

“With the right number of volunteers, making 14,000 masks is a very achievable goal, in only a matter of weeks,” he said.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.