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2019 Homer Hankies repurposed as cotton face masks

2019 Twins Homer Hanky

There are plenty of initiatives from MLB teams in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, but this is one that should lift spirits in Minnesota: The Minnesota Twins and team partners are converting the 2019 Homer Hanky into cotton face masks for medical use.

The excess inventory of the 2019 Homer Hanky into cotton face masks will be distributed to healthcare providers, grocery workers and other nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 Homer Hanky, originally manufactured by Winona, Minnesota-based WinCraft, is a 100-percent cotton, terrycloth towel. The resulting masks meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for cloth face coverings, as they will provide comfort and security, while serving as an additional line of defense to airborne droplets. One rally towel can be converted to five masks.

“When waved together by 50,000 people, the Homer Hanky is a symbol of the unity, respect and passion that define us as Minnesotans–the same traits that will see our state through the COVID-19 crisis,” Nancy O’Brien, Twins Vice President of Community Engagement, said via press release. “We are beyond grateful to partner with Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon to transform otherwise unused stock of this iconic item into essential, protective material for those who are bravely and selflessly working to help us all during this pandemic.”

The initiative comes from the Twins and partners Star Tribune, Cub Foods, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon.

A single 2019 Homer Hanky can be made into multiple cotton face masks by the staffs at Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon. Production on Homer Hanky masks has begun; as inventory is completed, the masks will be distributed to regional healthcare providers via existing partnerships with the Twins and Love Your Melon, to Cub grocery store workers via the Twins, and to other nonprofit organizations as available.

Love Your Melon will be providing the polypropylene surgical wrap material and elastic to Faribault Woolen Mills Co., whose team of seventh-generation craftspeople will transform the Homer Hankies into lined, protective face masks. Through rounds of materials sampling with the team at M Health Fairview, the surgical wrap material was deemed the most readily acceptable material to repurpose into face masks for visitors and for healthcare workers who are not directly patient-facing. The Homer Hanky will be used on the outer side of the mask and the surgical wrap material will be used as the lining.

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