Nonprofit is donating masks made by people who are blind to VA hospitals in each community where it has facilities
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (May 21, 2020) – Recognizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local VA medical providers, and in honor of Military Appreciation Month, nonprofit IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind in the U.S., donated 500 masks to the VA Clinic in Kernersville. The donation includes 100 N95 masks for the VA’s medical team and 400 cloth masks produced by IFB employees in the Winston-Salem facility for patients and clinic staff.
IFB Solutions is donating another 1,000 masks to VA facilities in Asheville, N.C. and Little Rock, Ark., where it also has manufacturing operations. The nonprofit recently ramped up mask production at its Winston-Salem facility having received its first order against a contract to produce cloth masks for the U.S. Air Force.
Scott Smith, an IFB Solutions employee and Navy veteran, went to the Kernersville VA Clinic for the mask donation.
“As a veteran, it’s especially meaningful to me to participate in today’s donation of masks to the Kernersville VA Clinic,” said Smith. “Our military manufacturing work at IFB Solutions creates hundreds of jobs for people like me who are blind or visually impaired. To be able to go beyond that work and donate to fellow veterans, and the medical teams serving them is a tremendous honor. I know I speak for all of my colleagues at IFB that we are proud to play a small part in protecting those workers on the new front lines of this pandemic. We hope that these masks provide a sense of security for veterans and their families as they continue to seek medical care during these uncertain times.”
The washable cloth masks that IFB is donating to the VA medical facilities also are available for sale to the public through IFB’s online retail outlet, bscsource.com. Each mask sold helps IFB achieve its mission of creating opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired in need of employment, training and services. The masks are sold in packs of 50 for $149.49 and shipping is free. Larger packs of 500 masks also are available.
“We very much appreciate this donation of masks from IFB Solutions and its team of employees,” said Les Eason, Chief, Voluntary Service for the Kernersville VA Clinic. “This support means a great deal to our medical team and those we serve as we all navigate these challenging times.”
Dropbox, courtesy of IFB Solutions, includes:
(Note: B-roll and still images show sewing of white masks available for sale to the public)
– B-roll of employees working on IFB mask production line
– Still photo of IFB plant manager Garry Russ wearing the white IFB mask
About IFB Solutions (IFB)
IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to operating nearly 20 office supply stores across the country and producing mattresses. IFB produces eyewear under its Twenty200 brand at its Winston-Salem lab and operates a retail location in Winston-Salem. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible summer camps, afterschool programs and activities for children who are blind, and Community Low Vision services through its low-vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark. ifbsolutions.org
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