A handful of Draper employees are putting their sewing knowledge to good use in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak as they’re crafting masks for local medical professional to use while they treat COVID-19 victims and help to prevent others from becoming part of the pandemic.
Draper staffers donated about 1,200 paper and N95 masks they found in the Spiceland, Ind., factory to Henry County Memorial Hospital at the end of March and hope to find more sewing machines so they can increase their output of mask production, says president Chris Broome.
“We’re continuing to look for more ways we can use our resources to help,” he says. “We’re always looking for ways to contribute. One of the things we realized is we had masks, and that our local hospital needed them more than we do.
“It is great to see our employees looking for ways that they and Draper can help,” says Broome.
Draper Employees Helping Community
Draper employees were inspired by stories of people across the country and around the world doing whatever they can to help other during the pandemic, says Broome. Several of them said they could sew and asked if they could start a makeshift mask production line.
“I have been sewing at Draper for over 30 years,” said Barb Russell in a recent Draper blog post. “When I saw stories about the need for masks, I thought this is something I could help with.
“I’m concerned for my co-workers and community and, if providing masks helps contain the spread of the virus, then I feel it’s what I should do. We just want to contribute any way we can,” she said.
Draper used to do “quite a bit of sewing” of its shades and projection screens but they don’t do it as much these days, says Broome.
“The hope is we’ll be able to produce (masks) for quite some time,” says Broome.
“It’s something we have the ability to do. We wouldn’t have done it in the past. It just came up with the current situation.
“We have the equipment and we have some people who can do it, and given the current need, it seemed like the right thing to do. It’s really neat when people get involved and they want to help,” he says.
Draper is also considering other pandemic-related products it can produce, including face shields, says Broome.