As we all face new challenges with the unfolding health care crisis, the Bear crew at the Vermont Teddy Bear asked ourselves how we could help.
We decided to put new Bear creation on hold--don’t worry, we still have plenty of cuddly Bears available--and donate our supply of 620 surgical and N95 masks. (These masks protect our crew from breathing in fur and stuffing fibers as the bears are made.) The masks went to the Medical Countermeasures & Strategic National Stockpile, Division of Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Injury Prevention, Vermont Department of Health.
Next on the list was to start making masks. A few of our crew volunteered to round up materials at our manufacturing facility to make kits for face mask creation (we stayed a safe distance apart!) and some more team memebers and some community members volunteered to start making masks from home.
Fast forward two months and we have a network of over 150 at home sewers helping us! As of May 5th we have distributed over 14,000 masks to the City of Burlington, through 85 local organizations and they have all gone directly to essential workers. Our goal is to make 125,000 masks, enough to give 20% of Vermonters masks.
A big thanks to some of our partners: Darn Tough Vermont, Seventh Generation, Burton Snowboards and Bee's Wrap who have helped source materials and their employees have joined our sewing network.
If You Can Sew, You Can Help
We are looking for Volunteer Home Mask Makers in Vermont to help supply our community with re-usable fabric masks. We are making kits of cut fabric and elastic, so all you need to have as an at-home maker is a sewing machine and your own thread. If you are interested in helping with this much needed effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't live in Vermont? That's OK! To assist in this endeavor with your own materials, we are following the instructions posted by the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, which also features an easy to follow video at the bottom of the page.
Do You Need Masks?
We have more to distribute to essential workers! Simply email Donations@vtbear.com. Please include the name of your organization and how many masks you require.