(Leominster, MA) – May 14, 2020 – AIS today announced the launch of its Sew the Masks program to create and donate up to 1,000,000 high quality, reusable face masks to first responders and others at high risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sew the Masks campaign is mobilizing AIS sewing professionals as well as private, individual sewing enthusiasts - who will be known as “Rosies” – to create high-quality masks from AIS-sourced materials and donate them to healthcare providers, first responders, essential workers and others at risk in the fight against COVID-19.
“No healthcare worker, first responder or other front-line employee should be worried about access to personal protective equipment such as masks. Yet we continue to see mask shortages among the people most at risk of infection,” said Bruce Platzman, CEO of AIS. “We strongly believe that high quality, comfortable, reusable masks are the answer. And we are actively recruiting sewing enthusiasts across the country and corporate partners to join this effort, collaborate with AIS, and collectively support the communities in which they live and work.”
The Sew the Mask program consists of four steps:
Volunteer sewing enthusiasts – “The Rosies” - request a kit of materials for the creation of 50 masks at www.sewthemasks.com.
These kits ship directly from AIS with easy-to-follow instructions, precut materials and return packaging.
Completed masks are returned in the provided packaging to AIS within 25-30 days.
AIS performs a quality check on every completed mask, and then ships boxes of masks to corporate sponsors and partners for distribution and donation within their own communities.
“Our company has donated thousands of these masks already to hospitals and first responders across Massachusetts. But the need is so great, we could never do alone what we can do with others, joining together as part of coordinated effort,” said Platzman. “We think there are many potential ‘Rosies’ out there ready to donate their skills and time to ensure high-quality PPE is there when these essential players need it. And we think some of the great corporate citizens in New England and around the country will partner with us to sponsor the effort and coordinate mask donations.”
AIS allocated a production line of its employees in early April on the manufacturing floor to make these high-quality reusable masks with antimicrobial covers that repel moisture and a non-treated, comfortable inner layer filter of polypropylene. AIS masks are already helping protect healthcare workers at UMass Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as first responders around Massachusetts and others.
One of the illustrations featured in the original Rosie campaign artwork is a representation of a real life “Rosie”, MJ, who works at AIS as in shipping. She has a deep compassion to help those around her. AIS was inspired by her effervescent energy, self-less dedication to others, and roll up your sleeves attitude as a role model for the program. Illustrations created by Lindsey Platzman.
For more information, to become a “Rosie” or to learn about corporate partnerships and sponsorship of mask creation and donations, visit www.sewthemasks.com.