AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating located in Leominster, Massachusetts, has donated and delivered 25,000 high-quality facemasks to the City of North Charleston as part of the company’s nationwide program to support cities in need with personal protective equipment.
The donation initiative to U.S. cities was launched in January through AIS’s larger Sew the Masks effort in conjunction with the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. To date, AIS and its corporate sponsor partners have donated and distributed nearly 500,000 facemasks to organizations across the United States. Other cities receiving donations include Kansas City, Missouri, Bridgeport, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island.
To receive free masks, residents may visit the Felix Davis Community Center, the Northwoods Community Center, or the North Charleston Athletic Center starting Thursday, March 11 until supplies are depleted. In addition, North Charleston Police Department Neighborhood Resource Officers will distribute masks in key areas with vulnerable populations, while School Resource Officers will distribute masks in North Charleston area schools.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of AIS and its President and CEO Bruce Platzman, as there is no question that this nationwide charitable initiative has saved lives,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. “Working with an army of seamstresses from around the country, this substantial donation of high-quality reusable masks will go a long way in further protecting the North Charleston community from the spread of COVID-19. We hope the vast majority of our region and country has the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the near future, but until then, making testing readily available, social distancing, washing hands, and wearing proper face coverings remains imperative.”
AIS began making high-quality face masks – using antimicrobial fabrics and other premium materials – when the COVID-19 pandemic intensified last spring. In May 2020, the company established the nationwide Sew the Masks initiative – activating internal production lines and close to 1,000 volunteer ‘Rosies’ in 45 states to create masks at their home sewing machines for donation and distribution to first responders, frontline workers and other people in need.
“No citizen should be worried about access to personal protective equipment as we continue to fight this pandemic,” said AIS President and CEO Bruce Platzman. “We are grateful to the City of North Charleston who partnered with us to be able to support the community with these high-quality, comfortable and reusable masks.”
Through its partnership with the United Way and with the help of nationwide sponsors, AIS has been donating facemasks for the past 10 months to non-profit organizations in nearly 50 states. Recipients of the masks include homeless shelters, food pantries, Boys and Girls clubs, veterans’ organizations, animal shelters, and more. For more information on the program, visit www.sewthemasks.com.