Local group makes ear-relief accessory for healthcare workers wearing face masks

A new effort in Volusia County is aiming to make sure healthcare workers on the frontlines are comfortable while they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Sherry Birnajk, of DeLand, started the “Save the Ears” project. 

With the help of volunteers, the group makes headbands with buttons so health care workers wearing facemasks can attach the straps to the button instead of their ears.

"They’re not used to wearing the masks over their ears all the time and they’re getting raw and rubbed," she said.

The project started less than a week ago and already has hundreds of requests. 

“My house is full of buttons and headbands right now, which is great. It’s exciting,” she said.

The accessory is free to healthcare workers who can stop by her home and pick them up after putting in a request on the Facebook page.


“You know, they’re out there on the frontlines risking their lives and the least we can do is do something for them,” Birnajk said.

Rhonda Schrier is a volunteer who helps sew the headbands.

She said it’s a small way of showing appreciation to those on the frontlines.

“And that we’ll just be able to help them a little bit to feel a little bit more comfortable as they work throughout their day,” she said.