Many Northern Nevadans are developing newfound skills in the art of sewing face masks as a result of the current pandemic. And while healthcare workers, grocery store employees and neighbors are often the recipients, one population is particularly vulnerable when it comes to falling through the cracks for receiving these potentially live-saving tools: families in need.
To address this important population, iCelerate - High Sierra Industries (HSI) went to work.
Although HSI’s day service facility operations are closed, the iWork job training and employment program is operating. The iWork division is an essential business because it supplies assemblies to other essential businesses in Northern Nevada. While practicing safe workplace protocols, in addition to contract work, HSI also found a way to give back and help the community -- most importantly, to those families who are often overlooked when it comes to accessing vital resources.
Custom Ink donated several hundred poly-cotton blend t-shirts -- HSI leadership noted that the Centers for Disease Control suggests the blend is a better barrier than other fabrics for those who don’t have access to an actual mask. From the t-shirts, they made more than 1,100 washable and reusable face coverings, which can be customized to different sizes and require no sewing.
These face coverings were delivered to the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. There, they will hand them out — with English and Spanish instructions for cutting slits that fit over the ears -- as part of their weekly Food Pantry distribution with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
"People with disabilities are just like you and me, and with our heightened abilities to evaluate situations through a lens of equity and inclusion, we’re able to quickly identify a need or deficiencies in processes," says LaVonne Brooks, CEO iCelerate – High Sierra Industries. "It’s what we do every day in our learning systems that help people with disabilities. We identified a need in our community and put our assembly skills to the test to produce more than 1,100 washable face coverings for families.”
The face coverings are now available through the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and are distributed through their Food Pantry project in conjunction with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Learn more about their COVID-19 programing here.