AUSTIN, Texas - In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, face-coverings are mandatory while out in public in Austin and other major cities across Texas.
However, many in Austin, and across Central Texas, may not have the resources to purchase masks or have access to reusable face-coverings.
That's where The Austin Mask Exchange says they are committed to helping. They are a local organization, started by a small group of users on Reddit who were posting about making masks for those who needed them.
Liam Kozam is the founder of The Austin Mask Exchange and says he got started by getting a sewing machine and making masks for his family. From there, he said it took off.
The Austin Mask Exchange is made up of local volunteers and vendors.
"We've found that across the city there are hundreds and hundreds of people who want to help their neighbors," said Kozma. "They are willing to give their time and effort."
Kozma said with over 60 volunteers, those who are working are spending countless hours, dedicating their time to make sure those in the community have access to masks if they need one.
"I think when this COVID crisis is over, we will look back and realize just how much of a difference the individual mask-makers made to this effort," he said.
With the Austin Mask Exchange, they have one mission - if you are in need of a mask, they want to help you.
"I don't think we've ever turned away anyone who has asked for a mask," Kozma said.
He added that there are many businesses and organizations that are doing similar things, but what makes them special is they focus on the "neighbor down the street." Kozma says that this initiative helps get masks into the hands of everyday people who need them.
The Austin Mask Exchange website is set up in different parts. The first part is to help educate those on what type of masks may work best for them. The second is to give them access to local vendors in the community. And the third is where people can go to request masks if they are in need.
To visit the website, or learn more, visit Austin Mask Exchange.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.