410 hours of commitment. 820 masks delivered. And counting.
Updated: Jan 8
Meet Brian Lange—Mako Account Executive at Stryker by day and volunteer mask maker by night. What started as an answer to a need in his community, has grown into a drive to go above and beyond.
Let’s start at the beginning. Why did you start making masks?
My wife Sharen and I started hearing about the need for masks, and we wanted to help. So on March 20th, we began brainstorming ideas on what we could create to do so—our thinking was that something is better than nothing. Washable, wearable masks to wear over respiratory protective products seemed to make sense. That progressed to us looking at different fabric, tweaking models and eventually creating a mask prototype that we are still producing now.
How did people start hearing about your initiative?
We started making these masks and Sharen began posting about what we were doing on social media for our friends and family mainly. They started sharing these posts and more and more people became aware of our project.
How are the masks made?
We use two types of fabric—cotton and flannel. I cut up the fabric pieces and Sharen pleats and sews them, though I have since moved up the ranks to sewing as well. It usually takes 25-30 minutes to create a single mask and you just keep going and going. Sometimes you don’t even want to take a break to make a meal.
What happens after the masks are made?
We pack them up and depending on who needs them, I either drop them off or mail them out. Our first request came in from a woman with cancer who had a compromised immune system. She heard about us on social media and reached out, asking if she could have one because she still needed to go to work as her family needed the money. Since then, I have made and delivered over 800 masks to people in New York, Indiana, Michigan and Texas. Any thoughts that you’d like to share?
We made our first mask on March 21st and haven’t stopped. As long as there’s a need, we’ll continue on!
Thank you, Brian, for everything that you and Sharen are doing to support local communities when it matters most! Our employees are giving back in various ways across the globe—read more on how we remain mission-driven to make healthcare better here.