When DutchCrafters’ Vice President Linse Miller found out the woodshop that builds the Amish Garden Furniture Collection was making personal-use hand-sewn facemasks available for purchase, she saw an opportunity to make a difference. The Amish furniture ecommerce retailer is selling the facemasks and giving the profits to All Faiths Food Bank to provide food to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The masks will help to protect people who are vulnerable to the virus,” said Miller, “and during a time when many people have lost their jobs and are dealing with food insecurity, we can help with donations to All Faiths Food Bank to support their mission.”
In late March as DutchCrafters’ employees were settling into working from home and shifting priorities to get the small Sarasota-based business through this crisis while tracking lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in the states where their company’s woodshops are located, they started hearing similar stories from several of those woodshops.
Amish outdoor furniture manufacturers Berlin Gardens and LuxCraft, which build furniture using poly lumber made from recycled plastic, both shifted their focus to making face shields for medical workers. Berlin Gardens was mentioned in an April 9, 2020, New York Times article “In Ohio, the Amish Take on the Coronavirus.” Author Elizabeth Williamson noted that the company had already fulfilled their first order of 20,000 plastic face shields for Yale New Haven Hospital.
Additionally, Pennsylvania-based Country Classic Collection put together sewing teams to make masks for local hospitals. While practicing social distancing, the shop has been able to produce up to 1,000 masks a day with materials and sewing machines donated by local businesses, and labor and other expenses donated by members of the community.
When deciding on a charity to support with the profits from facemask sales, Miller found the choice easy to make. A non-profit incorporated in 1989, All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.
All Faiths’ Communications Manager Elodie McCartney Ward outlined via email how the organization is striving to meet the needs of the community, including:
- Providing pre-boxed and pre-bagged food via drive through mobile distributions.
- Partnering with school districts of the counties they serve to provide food, snacks and equipment.
- Working with other local non-profits like Boys & Girls Club to provide supplemental food to families.
- Continuing to support their more than 60 partner agencies with pre-boxed and bagged food.
To purchase a 5-pack of masks with profits benefiting All Faiths Food Bank, visit: https://www.dutchcrafters.com/Cloth-Face-Mask-5-Pack-/p/65912
About DutchCrafters: Founded in 2003 by Jim and Linse Miller, DutchCrafters is the largest online retailer of Amish furniture with more than 15,000 solid wood furniture and home décor pieces made-to-order in the heart of America. DutchCrafters’ parent company JMX Brands was selected as the 2016 retailer of the year by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and has made the Inc. 5000 list six times. In 2016, the company opened its first brick-and-mortar location in its home city of Sarasota, Fla.
About All Faiths Food Bank: All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator and a member of Feeding America and Feeding Florida, we provide millions of meals each year through robust programs and partnerships with charitable organizations in the community. In addition to food distribution, All Faiths Food Bank operates a roster of innovative direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger but strive to end hunger by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, better health outcomes and self-sufficiency. For more information visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.