Since the beginning of this idea I called Yellow Birch Outfitters, I had a clear mission statement: Durable gear meant to tackle ALL of life's adventures. I purposely said all of LIFE'S adventures because sometimes the adventure is thrown at you, rather than you throwing yourself at it. We need to be prepared for everything that gets placed in our path.
Some of us were as ready as we could be for COVID-19, and some of us weren't. Some of us didn't have a choice in how we were personally prepared as we were designated "essential" and forced to throw ourselves headlong at the invisible menace pushing itself through our neighborhoods and threatening to steal those we hold dear.
If World War 2 is to be an example (and I firmly believe it is), the USA will rise to the challenge and mobilize in a way no other nation in this world can match. Supplies will make their way to those who need it most, and we will come out of this with new wisdom to face the challenges ahead. Until that time however, it is we the people who must rise up and meet the short term needs of the community. Again in WWII we did the same in victory gardens, scrap drives and a myriad of local programs. This time however, we must protect those who work so hard to save us: the healthcare workers.
When I first heard of the grassroots movement taking place to make up the shortage of protective masks out there, I can honestly tell you I got a little teared up. The first I heard of it came from one of my stitchers; Lisa. She and her sisters are pushing out 100 masks for those in need, and in that vain Yellow Birch is joining that growing movement, and making as many masks as we can until medical supply can meet the growing demand.
We spend our days here at the shop sewing gear for the fun adventures. Now we need to switch gears and make the gear people need to save lives so we can get back to the fun when the dust settles and we are allowed to pick up where our lives left off.
This is a movement by people, and you can help too. If you can sew, find a template online, or if you're lucky enough to have a laser, email me for the pattern I created. Call your local hospital and see what they need. Then do it. If crafting isn't your thing, help the ones that are out there making these. Fabric, ribbon and thread aren't cheap!
I am not looking to make money on all of this, but the reality is that we are probably a much smaller operation than you think, and it takes a bunch to keep the lights on as well as getting the necessary materials to make these masks that hospitals so desperately need. In the face of dwindling sales with everything going on I (along with all of the others crafters out there) need to balance feeding our families with the materials we purchase to make all of this happen.
If you can help, donations will gladly be accepted to offset these costs. Please PayPal (friends and family) to firstname.lastname@example.org with Masks in the memo section there so I know. As a thanks, I'll be sending stickers out to everyone that gives, so make sure you include your address in there as well. There may even be a few patches sent out as well (though I don't have near as many of those).
Human beings are incredibly adaptive and amazing creatures, and it is because of this I know we will be alright. Our creator gave us all the resilience to withstand anything this world can dish out, so long as we don't try and do it alone. Strength comes not from a lone tree in a storm, but the windbreak that comes from a forest full of trees working together. Find a way to be in the forest until the storm is over.