BUCKHANNON — Tom Thacker, Owner of Endo Solutions, and Misty Post wanted to join the growing movement of mask making that has surged across the country in response to fighting COVID-19. This pandemic has already reportedly caused a shortage of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for many people, especially our healthcare workers.
Numerous Facebook groups and organizations nationwide have started sharing designs and materials for people to make masks at home. Thacker said seeing their posts made him realize the designs were simple and something people could do locally.
Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) sent out a press release to seek volunteers who could make masks in response to the critical need that already exists and is expected to grow. Thacker saw this information and eagerly contacted them. He and Post quickly collaborated and contacted the local sewing factory, Ashland Sales and Services, to ask for their assistance. The manager at Ashland, as well as their employees, gladly volunteered to produce 500 masks for CAMC. They explained that CAMC provided the materials and design and dropped them off to Ashland directly.
Due to local donations and CAMC, the group will be able to complete 500 masks for CAMC, as well as 300 for the community. They currently have a shortage of elastic and would appreciate any donations at this time. Post expressed that the 2-millimeter elastic cord is what works best, so that’s what they are seeking. They are accepting donations Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on their covered porch. Ashland Sales and Services is located at 27 Lumber Street in Buckhannon. It is recommended to just leave it on the porch and do not interact with others to prevent potential spread of the coronavirus.
If they have the materials and the need is there, they plan to continue producing masks. Each mask from now on will be distributed locally in Upshur County to those who are still working in essential positions. Post stated for people needing masks, “Call the factory and tell them what you need…that is the best way to do it right now.” They will be made on an as-needed basis. Contact Ashland at (304) 472-4019 if you have further questions.
Ashland and their employees are eagerly volunteering their building, equipment, services and hours, so Thacker and Post would genuinely like to thank them for that. Post added that there is also a group of employees’ grandchildren who are volunteering.
Thacker and Post would also like to thank all the volunteers who are out there making masks, even those not involved with them.
Currently, local hospitals are not accepting homemade masks, according to Thacker. However, St. Joseph’s Hospital is currently asking for donations of any new personal protective equipment. They are taking donations at their loading dock and hope it is not necessary and just a precaution.
The public and community can view updates from Ashland on the “Buckhannon Events” Facebook page. Post also created a “Buckhannon Together” Facebook page for people to share and spread conversation about how the community is getting through the COVID-19 pandemic together.