How "Mask Our Heroes" Started
“Mask Out Heroes” started on Wednesday April 1st at 11am when Kevin Fleck called Kyle Flynn (both UA Alumni and owners of different marketing businesses) to discuss an idea to produce face masks for Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH).
Kevin- "The idea came from my wife actually, she works at Akron Children's and she made me aware of the fact that most hospital employees aren't wearing face masks because of this shortage. So I contacted Kyle because I knew he would want to help and had the experience and the kind of network to make it happen."
Kyle- “We discussed the COVID-19 epidemic, the effects on hospitals, and how they are experiencing a major shortage of face masks. With the hard weeks ahead it was clear that the need would only increase and if left unaddressed would lead to higher fatality rates.”
Kyle & Kevin decided to address it, and attempt to come up with a solution to the face mask dilema. Once a solution was found they would use the resources they have on hand to promote the need and raise awareness. Kevin knows Kyle started several Startups and asked him for a strategic plan.
Kyle- “It happened really fast. It’s almost a blur. I started making phone calls and contacting some clients of mine... before I knew it I had assembled a mask production line composed of local Akron businesses donating their time and resources. Joan Fabrics is supplying free fabric, Rubber City Industries & Murdock Industrial Inc. are cutting the face mask patterns, Custom Apparel is sewing them, we got the mask designs from the hospital, and ACH is sanitizing the incoming masks. The masks are even washable, so there’s less waste. And the entire system is limited contact!”
These masks will be worn by the supporting hospital staff, that’s 5,000 people at ACH alone. This will free up more N95 masks for those in direct contact and provide masks to those who otherwise wouldn’t have one.
Kyle- “Production starts Monday so it’s hard to say for sure the exact output, but from the estimates I’ve received, we can produce between two and five thousand of these face masks a day once we have everything setup. Our dies come in on Tuesday which will allow us to cut thousands of these masks a day. ACH alone needs 15,000 and other hospitals will need them too. So we’re not stopping."
They are calling this project “Mask Our Heroes” and even have a website up at www.maskourheroes.today where you can learn more, contact them to donate fabric cutting or sewing services, and in the near future even donate funds to Akron Hospitals.
Kevin- "Right now we are really hitting the pavement looking for people to help us sew these masks. At this point, we have the ability to cut the masks out of reams of fabric extremely fast and our biggest bottleneck is assembling and sewing them together. We are looking for any individuals and businesses with the proper setup to help us. We have a network of people that will be delivering materials while also practicing in social distancing and following the current guidelines from the Governor so we can get this done."
Kyle- "We’ve just started raising awareness with the goal to get more of the Akron community involved. They have so much to offer and from what I’ve seen so far everyone is really rallying together. If I’ve learned anything over the past several days it’s this- people really want to help our heroes in the hospitals and if given the chance they will.
Spread the word and help us mask our heroes!”