As we launch our website, we'd like to highlight some of our key supporters, and will highlight others in the months ahead.
Prem Sangar, owner of Sangar General Store, Windsor, MA, was our first financial donor. Stumbling on her shop one day, we got to talking, mentioned the immigrant mask makers, and she reached into her till and handed me a generous and unexpected donation. We were so moved by her openness to our project & to us, strangers, especially at a time (early COVID) when business must have been quite slow. She gave us hope. BTW, her samosas are to die for!
Sydney Henthorn, friend, neighbor & owner of Henthorn Sewing Studios, Easthampton, has been a huge supporter since the germination of this project. She has loaned machines and studio space, offered endless advice on how to cut and sew masks, maintain machines, and has donated elastic, thread, needles, and lots of her mother's fabric. We could not have gotten off the ground without her.
Stavros Center for Independent Living of Amherst, Springfield, and Greenfield got us started with 9 huge bins of fabric (100% quilter cotton), allowing us to create an extensively varied inventory of fabrics for our masks. Staff member Lee Nettles also tried out our Lip Reading/Smile masks and gave valuable feedback.
Anonymous of Northampton MA, gave us a $4,000 no-interest, open-ended loan as essential start-up money to buy sewing tools, notions, and other materials not available through donations.
Dee Dice, friend and Small Business Advisor, Valley Community Development Corporation, Northampton, meets with us regularly to provide business advice, focus, and resources big and small, as well as being one of our biggest cheerleaders.
Father John Salatino, Pastor, and Robin Jensen, Director of Advancement, St. Mary's Parish, Westfield, MA, our 501(c)3 sponsor, have generously taken us on as an independent mission of the church, provide assistance with financial management, and included us in the successful grant funding request they made to the Community Foundation of Western Mass.
Torey Littlefield of eignited.com, an e-Commerce business, has given us hours and hours of information and advice to get us started on the Shopify website platform, and to help us going forward with e-commerce advice.
Laura Robinson, friend and ESOL instructor at The International Language Institute (ILI), Northampton, has worked diligently, despite many redirections and software limitations, to create this website. We are endlessly grateful to Laura for getting us to the next level of marketing.
The Community Foundation of Western Mass, Springfield through our 501(c)3 sponsor, granted us $12,000 which we were able to distribute to our sewers, helping them with critical expenses during this COVID emergency before our mask selling could provide further resources.
Dean Cycon, of Dean's Beans, Orange MA, stepped forward early in the COVID crisis to offer metal strips for nose pieces to volunteer mask-making groups throughout the area. So our masks have had nose pieces - guaranteeing good fit and protection - since day one.
...and the list goes on.
We graciously accept donations of 100% quilters cotton, 600 thread-count cotton sheeting, working sewing machines, sewing tools & notions.
We are looking for volunteers to help with: social media, e-Commerce, data entry, website refinement, inventory monitoring, cutting fabric, assembling mask packets, researching resources, order fulfillment, following up with past customers, writing sewer story features.
Please use our Contact Us form to get in touch or click the donate button to make a one-time financial contribution using a credit card.