Vermont Teddy Bear Coordinating Local Production of 125,000 Face Masks for Vermont Residents

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Local businesses, governments, individual sewers create masks for essential workers, the most vulnerable, and Vermont residents in need.

We are proud to be coordinating the effort and excited to work with an extensive network to deliver face masks that help protect those in our community who are vulnerable, working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and other Vermont residents in need.”

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, known usually as a manufacturer of teddy bears, announced that it is coordinating the Vermont-based production of 125,000 face masks. Through the use of in-house production capabilities, partnerships with other Vermont businesses, and numerous volunteer home sewers, Vermont Teddy Bear is coordinating the production and distribution of the face masks to be donated to essential workers and residents throughout the state to help protect themselves and others from the coronavirus.

As of May 5, over 14,000 masks have been distributed to the City of Burlington, through 85 local organizations, and directly to essential workers. An additional 26,000 masks currently are being produced by over 150 volunteer home sewers and will be completed in the coming week, for a total to-date of 40,000 masks. In addition to sewing masks at its Shelburne, VT, factory location, Vermont Teddy Bear is providing kits which include cut fabric and elastic for 48 masks, as well as sewing instructions.

“This coordinated mask-making initiative is a wonderful example of how businesses and individuals in Vermont come together in a time of need,” says Vermont Teddy Bear CEO Bill Shouldice. “We are proud to be coordinating the effort and excited to work with an extensive network to deliver face masks that help protect those in our community who are vulnerable, working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and other Vermont residents in need.”

The initial fabrics use to make face masks were donated by the City of Burlington, VT, and Bee’s Wrap of Middlebury, VT. Foley Services of Rutland, VT, and Milliken of Spartanburg, SC, have both donated and helped to source fabric in a subsequent phase of materials procurement to help reach the 125,000 mask goal. The masks are made using two layers of 100% cotton woven fabric, in accordance with CDC-recommended fabric face mask guidelines.

Darn Tough Vermont, Seventh Generation, Burton Snowboards, and Bee’s Wrap have been coordinating volunteer sewers among their employees. The town of Williston, VT, also has been involved in helping to build the sewer network.

“Vermont Teddy Bear has always made products that bring comfort, and in these challenging times the Bear crew at the Vermont Teddy Bear asked ourselves how we could help,” says Shouldice, adding, “We decided to put Bear production on hold and to work with the community to make masks to support front-line workers and other Vermont residents in need. It only made sense.”

To learn more, become involved, or make a donation to support the purchase and cutting of materials please visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Mask Making webpage (https://www.vermontteddybear.com/mask-making) or its donations page (https://www.vermontteddybear.com/mask-donation). All donations will be used to cover the costs of producing and distributing the reusable masks.

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Sandra Marquardt

Sandra Marquardt
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