A La Mirada woman who helped form a statewide online sewing circle to fashion face masks for Southland health professionals and first responders said Tuesday that her group has sent more than 500 hand-sewn masks to local organizations battling the coronavirus outbreak.

Mallory Morgan, 24, who created the Facebook group Stitched Together with her mom last week, said she aims to help fill the growing need for protective masks at hospitals, among emergency services workers and for nonprofit groups across the Los Angeles area.

Morgan, who works for an L.A. movie company, said the sewing group has donated masks to the L.A. County Fire Department, the West Los Angeles and Long Beach VA medical centers, PIH Health Hospital-Whittier, and St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, among others. Requests are coming in on the Facebook page from other groups experiencing a shortage.

“I had no idea how quickly our community would rally together to help local organizations in need during this crisis,” Morgan said. “I’m proud of our group and the positive impact this will have on individuals who are risking their health to protect others.”

Morgan’s mother, Rebecca, a pharmaceutical rep with a passion for sewing, got the idea for a grassroots mask-making effort after catching an item about the shortage on CNN. Recently, family members in Long Island, New York, launched a similar project.

Morgan said it could take an experienced seamstress about 15 minutes to make a medical mask using the tightly woven cotton that works best. Tutorials are available on various websites.

“Medical-grade masks are the best, but what we do is better than a bandana and better than no mask at all,” Morgan said.

Morgan said Stitched Together is also a way for members to forge and maintain a connection, while following safe social distancing guidelines.

“We’re trying to stay as optimistic as we possibly can,” Morgan said. “It’s good to know we’re doing something to help.”

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