Sunrise Glass employees step up to help with face mask shortage

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 6:07 PM EDT
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Some hospitals around the state are putting out a call for Personal Protective Equipment.

There's a nationwide shortage, and many health care workers and first responders are finding innovative ways to help get the equipment.

We caught up with some community members are stepping up to help fill that gap.

“People are stressed. There is not enough masks to go around. There’s uncertainty everywhere, unfortunately,” said Michelle Cossar of Sunrise Glass in Brewer.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have had to shut down.

But, Sunrise Glass in Brewer is not one of those businesses. While they have had to adjust their hours, it’s been pretty much business as usual except now they are not just glass specialists, they’re professional sewers, too.

These crafty ladies are stepping up to help create homemade masks for health care workers and first responders in our area.

They’re just a small group of many who have volunteered across the nation to share patterns and best address the need for masks for medical staff.

“Everybody wants to know what they can do in times like this, and being able to sew just makes me feel good. It warms my heart knowing I’m protecting other people,” said Cossar.

Cossar started making some of the masks for family and friends Sunday. Word quickly got out. That’s when her boss asked her to bring in her sewing machine and use her skills to help others.

“I thought it was a great idea when I heard about it, so anything I can do to help, I’m willing to do so,” said Lisa Graff, Assistant Store Manager for Sunrise Glass.

So far, these ladies have made more than three dozen masks in just two days. The goal is to deliver them to area first responders and health care workers.

“It’s something that doesn’t take a whole lot of time, but it makes a pretty big impact because these are reusable,” explained Liz Braley, Customer Service Representative for Sunrise Glass. “They're not just the chuck them masks. These can be rewashed. We make sure we pre-shrink the fabric, so they can be washed in hot water and reused.”

While there is no way of knowing how long this pandemic will last, they plan to make the masks until they run out of supplies. They say they’ll do anything for their health care heroes.

“It might bring a smile to somebody’s face too that is dealing with this, and it’s scary. Anything to kind of lighten the mood is good,” said Braley.

If you would like to donate supplies, call Sunrise Glass at 989-6338.

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