Creativity, inspiration, and the powerful ways communities come together to make an impact are among the bright spots during any trying time, and the last few weeks have been no exception. While making adjustments to continue safely serving customers, RDO Equipment Co. team members are also finding ways to contribute to changing needs within communities amid the COVID-19 situation.
When the owner of the Vancouver, WA, textile company, Last US Bag Company, decided to shift from producing bags and camping supplies to masks for local first responders, he reached out to friends and community members for help.
Portland Regional Sales Coordinator Missy Shepherd and her mother, an experienced seamstress, were among those tapped to help sew. Last US Bag Company supplied kits containing the necessary materials, which were to be assembled and returned.
The completed masks are suitable for non-critical care users and as backup masks for medical staff, who, in some cases, are currently relying on primary masks much longer than manufacturer recommendations.
“We sewed a bunch, but I knew we could do even better,” Missy said. With respect to directives regarding social activity issued by state leaders, Missy put together a plan.
On Tuesday, she gathered a supply of the kits and contacted members of her church, explaining what was needed and that she would have the kits available for pick-up from the church later in the afternoon. The response was immediate.
“I sent the email around noon. Pick-up began at 4, and by 5, 740 kits had been picked up by volunteers.”
Today, completed masks will be returned and delivered back to Last US Bag Company, which will distribute the masks to local first responders, hospitals, and clinics, an effort they hope to continue in the coming days, with help from the outpouring of volunteers.
“I know I’ve been looking for ways I could help,” Missy commented. “And I think a lot of other people are, too.”