One Oregon-based company focuses its sewing team on mask production
(CORVALLIS, Ore.) — NEWS: When healthcare workers around Oregon started asking for hand-sewn mask donations, Oregon-based gaming supplies company, Inked Gaming, answered the call. It quickly set its sewing team into action to create more than 15,000 face masks that will be donated to hospitals and first responders suffering from the state’s personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage.
“I had two seamstresses who didn’t have much work to do, so I thought we could help out and use our time and resources to give back,” Thomas Pool, CEO, Inked Gaming, says. “We’re donating these face masks to local hospitals, veterinary clinics, nursing homes, fire stations, delivery drivers and more.”
While hand-sewn cloth masks do not offer the same protection as N95 and surgical masks, the CDC website on the Coronavirus states, “In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort.” (REF: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html ).
As a small, locally-owned company, Inked Gaming needed help funding the supplies, so for every face mask or face shield purchased on the company’s website, Inked Gaming pledged to donate 19 additional masks.
“I never anticipated the amount of support we’d receive,” Pool says.
Inked Gaming received enough orders to create more than their initial end goal of 10,000 face masks for donation in less than four days.
“We figured we would sell enough to keep our employees busy for the next couple months. We didn’t expect to sell 500 through the weekend,” Pool says. “We were amazed by the response and by how so many people were willing and wanting to help.”
After so many were sold, the company was now faced with a decision of whether to shut down the operation or to lower the number.
“At 10,000 donated masks, we knew that if we kept up at the same pace, we would be putting ourselves in a position where we couldn’t fulfill our promises,” Pool explains. “After talking with the team, we decided that lowering the donation level, but staying with the cause would be best.”
To account for this, Inked Gaming changed their pledge to donating an additional four masks for every one mask sold.
On Friday, April 3, President Donald Trump announced the recommendation that Americans should wear non-medical cloth face masks when in public. With these new guidelines, Inked Gaming reports seeing another significant increase in orders. Its team of two seamstresses is working hard to keep up with the number of masks to be sewn, while following all CDC and Oregon safety guidelines regarding COVID-19.
“We’ve had several local requests to help sew the donation masks too. Right now, that’s the most helpful,” Pool says. “We’re wanting to get them out as soon as we can and the community’s support has been so uplifting.”
The company has also located a surgical mask supplier which will allow them to supplement some of its donations with higher quality masks, and reduce some of the strain on the small sewing team.
Inked Gaming plans to continue donating masks as long as they are able and there’s a need. Face masks can be purchased at: https://www.inkedgaming.com/collections/face-masks-and-face-shields.
About Inked Gaming
Inked Gaming was founded in 2011 to help gamers customize their gaming experiences. Its mission from the beginning has been – “We help you customize the way you play; easy and affordable.” Every gamer is an individual and Inked Gaming strives to provide all gamers with an outlet to express themselves through gaming accessories.
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IMAGE LINKS FOR MEDIA:
– Photo Caption: Inked Gaming’s single production warehouse is turned into a temporary sewing manufacturing facility.
– Photo Caption: Inked Gaming’s face masks are being donated to healthcare workers and first responders.
Related link: https://www.inkedgaming.com/
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