One of the most serious challenges facing us all during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shortage of protective face masks. Hospitals, clinics, and community health centers around the world have struggled to secure enough personal protective equipment, or PPE, to keep their employees safe while treating scores of patients, while at-risk folks with pre-existing conditions desperately need their own masks.
The Boston LGBTQIA+ community has not been immune to that struggle. Thankfully, we have always had amazing supporters behind us, and that is more evident now than ever. Local fashion designer and community member David Josef recently rose to the challenges of this pandemic by spearheading a mask-making project in his Boston workroom.
David, who just months ago was making beautiful designer wedding dresses, is now donating his time, talent, and materials to creating fabric face masks. When the demand for these masks quickly became too large for his workroom, he teamed up with fellow designer Ann Russo to manufacture masks in her Fall River factory.
When David learned that Fenway Health was collecting masks for at-risk patients, he reached out to Board of Visitors member John Affuso to offer a mask donation. Working with Senior Major Gifts Officer Nan Dumas, David’s husband Dan Forrester and Ann were able to coordinate a delivery of 300 much needed face masks to our 1340 Boylston St. offices!
We at Fenway Health are so incredibly grateful to David, Ann, and everyone involved in this project for their time, generosity, and care for our whole Fenway family. This truly is an example of how, even in the darkest of times, people can come together to do amazing things for their community. If you would like to support David, Ann, and their mask-making team in Fall River, please consider donating to their GoFundMe page here.
We are also grateful to everyone else who has reached out to us with cloth masks to donate to help keep our patients safe. If you are interested in helping out, you can learn how to do that here.