Since March 2020, non-profit agency Hopa Mountain in Bozeman has donated masks, hospital gowns, face shields, hand sanitizer, and other resources to anyone in need.
As the executive director of Hopa Mountain, Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer balances working with local and rural tribal leaders throughout Montana with assisting the community with personal protective equipment, or PPE.
“I couldn’t believe we were going to be sending things to hospitals, we’ve sent things to hospitals all over the state. From retirement homes to food banks, and nursing homes, to schools, and in my life I could never have imagined these kinds of shortages and the generosity of people. We have to do our part now,” Sachatello-Sawyer said.
Hundreds of thousands of masks have been received and donated by Hopa Mountain.
“All of these are labors of love, just imagine the time, truly they are saving lives every day,” said Sachatello-Sawyer.
Montana Mask Heroes, Mystery Ranch, and Wild Rye Distillery are some of the organizations that contribute to Hopa Mountain.
“We have sewers from around the country that are sewing beautiful children’s masks; we are receiving them every day, we are packaging them, and we are sending them to anyone that needs them,” Sachatello-Sawyer said.
With children unable to fit large, disposable masks, special child masks are being handmade and distributed.
“Children come in all shapes and sizes, and having masks in different sizes makes it easier for families to fit masks appropriately to a child's face,” Sachatello-Sawyer said. “Hopa Mountain has distributed hundreds of thousands of masks now, and we are going to continue to do so as long as they’re needed.”