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Life at Perficient

A Perficient Team’s DIY Approach to the PPE Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for people across the world and has brought uncertainty and fear into the lives of many. However, even in these difficult times, there are always people who find ways to bring a little light and make a difference in any way they can. Our Chicago team members fit right into this category when they dedicated a night to making masks for themselves and their friends and families.

Chicago’s PPE Shortage

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Chicago and its surrounding areas have been a hotspot for the coronavirus. Once it arrived in the city, the virus spread quickly and numbers rose at an alarming rate. It wasn’t long before hospitals began running low on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and started putting out calls for people to donate any they had. The Chicago office’s Service Committee decided to answer this call. On April 16, they hosted a happy hour that was centered around helping their community by answering the nearby hospitals’ calls for PPE. Employees at the Chicago office had been working from home for about one month at this point, so many were excited to have an opportunity to connect with coworkers while also working to make a difference.

During the event, the committee walked attendees through how to make a simple no-sew mask using household materials. The process was quick, easy, and cheap, and the team had a ton of fun participating. It enabled attendees to make masks for themselves, family members, and neighbors without using up the PPE needed in the hospitals. The committee encouraged those in attendance to donate any PPE they had on hand to those in need since they would no longer need it due to their homemade masks.

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BYOMM (Bring Your Own Mask Materials)

Making your own mask can be surprisingly easy, and the team in our Chicago office didn’t have to spend a dime to do it! They followed an online tutorial, and used some of the below materials:

  • Material ideas:
    • Fabric – try to find something that is tightly woven or 100% cotton
    • Bandana
    • Curtains
    • Pillowcases or bed sheets- the recommendation is 600 thread count or higher, but whatever you have is better than nothing
    • Old t-shirts as long as you have enough fabric to fold it and create a barrier without too much space like the materials above
  • Filter ideas (optional):
    • Blue polyester shop towels
    • Vacuum bag (might be able to use the bag too as fabric)– hepa filter
    • Coffee filter
    • Paper towels
  • Securing apparatus ideas:
    • Hair ties
    • Elastic string
    • Additional fabric from above
    • Rubber bands
    • Anything you can find that is flexible that will secure the mask to your face and will go around your head
  • Options to help it fit more securely around your nose (optional, not required):
    • Twisty ties
    • Paperclips

The happy hour was a huge success, and every participant left with a great memory and a brand new personalized face mask. By living out this idea, the Chicago team set a great example of how to embody the Perficient values and the company culture in everyday life.


At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.

Learn more about what it’s like to work at Perficient at our Careers page

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Anna Snipes, Associate Regional Marketing Manager

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