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River Campus requests handmade cloth masks from volunteers

April 21, 2020

Update: the College Town donation center will be closing on June 12.

There has been a tremendous community response to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s request for handmade cloth face mask donations in recent weeks, and that appeal is still ongoing in order to preserve supplies of manufactured masks for frontline health care workers.

Now, officials on River Campus and other non-Medical Center locations are similarly requesting the help of local volunteers to sew and donate cloth masks that can be used by the essential employees currently working on-site at University campuses and carrying on the work needed to keep the University operational during this crisis. This request is made in response to Governor Cuomo’s order that all individuals need to wear a face covering when out in public now, which translates at the University to mandating that all employees and students wear face masks when on campus.

Interested individuals who can lend a hand with their sewing skills and want to donate to River Campus employees can follow the same guidance provided by the Medical Center:

  • When making these types of masks, it is better to use multiple layers of looser weave material than a single layer of densely woven material.
  • At this time, we are not providing materials or kits; we are depending on community generosity.
  • If you are including filter inserts with the masks you donate, please seal them in a separate package or leave them in the manufacturer-sealed package (apart from the masks), as all handmade masks will be laundered for sterilization—a service generously provided by Collegetown Dry Cleaners.
  • Please package your mask donation in a clean plastic bag, cardboard box or other sealed container, and place a label on the outside with your name; the contents and quantity; and your email or phone number.

Delivering mask donations

Handmade masks are welcomed at the College Town Donation Center, 40 Celebration Dr. Rochester, NY 14642. If you would like to donate, please first email to coordinate your delivery, no matter how large or small. Please do not bring your donation to College Town or another University location without emailing first.

The hours of the College Town Donation Center are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday–Friday (hours subject to change).  Please park in the College Town Courtyard lot; enter through the double-doors (look for the “Donation” signs); place your donation on the table at right upon entering the space. If you have any trouble finding the College Town donation location, please call (585) 275-2420 or email

Please maintain social distancing when delivering a donation and wear a face mask.

Cloth face mask donations are an essential way for the University to continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus and in the community.



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Category: University News