In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jewish family-owned Colgate Mattress, based in Atlanta, has shifted the focus of some of its factory employees from handcrafting crib mattresses to creating masks to be donated to Shepherd Center.
The masks are a collaborative effort across the company, including hospital outreach, mask design, sewing and manufacturing. Together, the Colgate family expected to donate about 3,000 masks by mid-April.
“When COVID-19 began impacting our community, we knew we had to help,” said Colgate Mattress Vice President Richard Wolkin. “As a manufacturing facility, we have the unique ability to repurpose some of our supplies for masks. We have worked tirelessly to manufacture a mask that can be utilized to better protect our community.”
Colgate Mattress, believed to be the nation’s oldest family-owned manufacturer of crib mattresses and accessories, is committed to supporting its local Atlanta community in response to the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.
Shepherd Center is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury; brain injury; stroke; multiple sclerosis; spine and chronic pain; and other neuromuscular conditions.
Over the course of three days, Colgate Mattress developed a mask prototype and accelerated manufacturing efforts to produce about 500 masks a day.
“We’re grateful for and inspired by local businesses such as Colgate who have pivoted on their own business model to help organizations during this time,” said Sarah Morrison, president and CEO of Shepherd Center. “We’re grateful to Colgate for committing to keeping our community safer. Community support is always vital, but even more so during this challenging time.”
Wolkin said of Colgate Mattress, “We’ve been a part of the Atlanta community for 65 years. Through our mask-making efforts, we’re honored to give back to the community that has given us so much in a small way.”