Jo-Ann Craft Stores Offer Free Kits For Making Face Masks, Dresses | Business

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(FOX NEWS) – Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts stores are mobilizing customers to join in coronavirus relief by distributing free kits for sewing masks and gowns for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Personal protective equipment is in alarming shortage for healthcare professionals across the country during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

As of March 23, the craft store‘s 860 locations are offering curbside pickup and home delivery of free kits to make masks, gowns and “other essentials” to donate to US hospitals. All open stores carry face mask kits for adults and youth, a spokesperson for Jo-Ann told Fox News, and the supplies are restocked daily.

In addition, Jo-Ann provides classrooms, sewing machines, and job instructions in her stores for people to produce personal protective equipment with the free supplies. Social distancing guidelines will be followed during this effort, the company said in a statement.

“What’s amazing about the craft community is that, especially in difficult times, they’re always looking for ways to help,” said Wade Miquelon, President and CEO of Jo-Ann . “We are seeing hospital workers, organizations and individuals walking into our stores for supplies to make these essential items, and our customers ask us how they can help. So many people are spending their time and money to help in this tragic situation. , and we want to step in to do our part to protect the amazing people who help the communities we serve.

“It is a scary time for many, but we have a generous community that can make a big difference as our health system grapples with this crisis,” continued Miquelon. “We’re here to support them and everyone who gives year-round. We’re all in the same boat.”

After obtaining the materials, artisans can follow Jo-Ann’s online instructions for making the masks and gowns. They are then encouraged to return completed projects to their local branch of the craft store. Jo-Ann will then donate the homemade personal protective equipment to local hospitals near her stores, for medical facilities to use at their discretion.

While the face masks are not technically medical grade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved homemade fabric masks as a crisis response option, Jo-Ann’s spokesperson said.

“Due to the severe shortage, health officials and hospitals have changed their guidelines for the recommended level of protection. The CDC has said homemade fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies run out. “, they explained. “Although these materials are not medical grade, they were manufactured based on models and using fabrics and materials recommended for medical settings, including guidelines provided by the Providence Hospital System in Washington. These materials should only be used in accordance with current CDC guidelines. “

The company is also working with larger hospitals and healthcare facilities to help secure fabric, elastic and transparent vinyl – “all materials we understand to be in short supply.”

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