By Treven Pyles
Posted on August 11th, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, cancer patients with compromised immune systems are deeply concerned about their safety and remain consistently vigilant by wearing a face mask. Because of this, groups and businesses are working together to get face masks to as many cancer patients and their families, as possible.
Since the crisis began we've focussed intensely on trying to support people who have cancer through our mask matching program. We are delighted that companies are taking the opportunity to reach out and support those in vulnerable positions and help them feel hope and optimism. This is amazing and we're moved to see that the campaign really taps into people wanting to help others protect themselves and their families.
In light of the critical shortage or lack of PPE and Alabama Governor's statewide mask mandate, the grassroots organization Bham Face Masks organized their efforts in sewing cotton masks for local healthcare workers, other essential staff, and marginalized communities battling Covid-19.
We're grateful that Bham Face Masks also supplied our mask matching program with face masks. That's how we've been able to help clients and also any cancer patients and the families that requested them.
Since March, when they started their mission to help people during the COVID-19 outbreak, Bham Face Masks has sewn and donated over 115,000 masks to people in Alabama. They were able to do that with the help of a large group of community sewers, who used their own supplies and sewn the masks in their homes, and through their own production team. If you can afford it and would like to help this organization's efforts in sewing masks, you can donate to their GoFundMe campaign.
In New York, Debrief me was already on a mission to provide masks that help people protect against air pollution when the pandemic hit. Owners decided to find a way to make a difference for those most vulnerable during this time.
That's how they began donating their tailored masks that have an interior pocket to hold carbon filters, are comfortable and easy to clean and wear, and look a little sassy while providing protection.
What's more, they've donated masks to our mask matching program and we've made sure they reached cancer patients and their family members.
The House of Perna, a clothing brand, made face masks available as soon as the coronavirus outbreak started. In June, the company had already donated over $85,000 worth of masks through their "buy one, donate one" campaign.
For every mask purchased, one is donated to individuals, essential workers, and organizations like our own. It was important for Amanda Perna, the founder at The House of Perna, to ensure that the business, which isn't a necessity in the daily routine, could keep working and provide something for those that felt even deeper the challenges posed by COVID-19.
For our part, we made sure that the masks they donated reached people with chronic lung disease or lung cancer and that they felt supported during this troubling time.
Also making and distributing face masks is Radian. They started as a functional apparel brand, making and selling jeans but found a new way to channel their production efforts through non-medical face coverings that help the community.
The company partnered with some awesome organizations, like our law firm, and donated reusable masks that, for our part, we've mailed to cancer patients. If you want to contribute and help fill the gap in the shortage of masks for those who need them the most, for every set of five masks you buy and donate through their website, they'll match it with a pack donation of their own.
The family of SewCanShe also helped us with our mask matching program.
After they blogged about our campaign, their readers pitched in and sent face masks for our program. These masks are important because they help people with cancer remain safer while they continue to get treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Especially close to our hearts is Samantha Grodecki, who grew up in Alabama and currently lives in Illinois, but fondly remembers her home state.
Samantha reached out to us after reading about our campaign on the SewCanShe blog and generously sent us chemo caps for patients: pixie style caps for the ladies and skull caps more so for the men. We applaud her efforts of contributing to our campaign all the more so as she was already hard at work sewing caps for her niece, a Louisiana nurse.
StringKing was a small company with about 30 employees, producing sporting goods when the pandemic started. Since then, however, they've completely transformed their entire operation to produce face masks.
Because of the high demand for their new products - washable cloth face masks made in America and 3-layer face masks - the company is now employing over 1,500 Americans.
The company donated and distributed more than 25,000 face masks to those in need, including through our campaign. The masks we've received from them enabled people with cancer, who are deeply concerned about their safety, to feel safe enough to function in the current adverse conditions.