Joann Stores is using its classrooms and supplies to mobilize crafters across the nation to help protect healthcare workers.
The arts-and-crafts retailer said that, beginning March 23 and while adhering to social distancing guidelines, it will open its classrooms to any who want to help make essential items for health care workers, including facemasks and covers, gowns and other items to donate to America’s hospitals.
Participating locations will offer sewing machines, materials and guidance to help customers safely make the items. Joann will provide and donate 100% of the supplies needed for these projects for those who come in to make.
Classroom occupancy will be limited to adhere to the CDC-recommended guidelines for social distancing and local restrictions. Employees will ensure continuous sanitization of materials and spaces, as well as the rest of the store.
Those who want to make-to-give to the effort at home will be able to take advantage of Joann’s ship-to-home and Curbside Pickup options, and find tutorials to create the items on the retailer’s web site.
All open Joann locations will serve as collection points for those making in their homes, and all items created by customers will be donated to help medical systems extend their dwindling supplies of protective equipment, and will be used at the hospital’s discretion.
In addition, Joann is working with larger hospitals and medical facilities to secure materials such as fabric, elastic and clear vinyl to hospitals that are in need of supplies.
“The amazing thing about the crafting community is that, especially in difficult times, they are always looking for ways to help,” said Wade Miquelon, president & CEO of Joann, which has 865 stores across 49 states “We are seeing hospital workers, organizations and individuals coming into our stores for supplies to make these essential items, and our customers are asking us how they can help. So many are spending their time and money to help in this tragic situation, and we want to step in to do our part to protect the amazing people who are helping the communities we serve.”