I try to stay calm, but everyday I have new worries, new responsibilities and new challenges. And just when I think I have something figured out, the rules change.

As an employer trying to keep everyone working during Covid-19, this goal is proving to be exhausting. Our employees are worried, and some want to stay home, which I totally understand! We are worried too, and sometimes I wish we could all just go home and stay safer.

But we are an "essential business," doing work that is very important - making masks, a PPE door caddy, and soon hospital gowns. Some of these products are new to us, and it’s hard to do something new overnight. There is a learning curve. There are challenges getting machines set up correctly. But yesterday, a mask line which will serve healthcare professionals, began. My husband Todd, our plant manager Judy and our mechanic Randy have been busy with this, and next, they will begin work on a new sewing line for gowns.

Our HR director Tammy has been busy trying to keep up with what the various government agencies recommend for our employees. I am trying to decipher the everchanging SBA loan processes, and watching webinars trying to learn how the government relief package will help our small business. Todd and I are dealing with the huge demand for PPE, and trying to locate materials and supplies needed to manufacture simple hairnets and booties for our hospitals. This process has made me want to scream “HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY!”

I see the news stories of doctors and nurses working without what they need to protect them from Covid-19. But our supply chain is disjointed, and it feels like we're working on a 1000 piece puzzle with missing pieces. We want to help! We’re trying to help! It’s just taking time, and our healthcare workers don’t have time on their side.

So, in response to our local community’s needs, we’ve recruited Barbara Trotter back to the business, and she has tirelessly sewn free masks for our community. We’ve moved some sewers over to help her, as the demand for these cloth masks is overwhelming! It feels like many people are screaming “HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY,” but do not know where to turn. Everyone needs help in a different way during this crisis. So if you can help or be kind to someone or just stop and pray for us all, you may answer a plea for help without even realizing it.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Hopeful & Stay Helpful!

(If you would like to make a donation to help with purchasing materials for the cloth masks being given to our community for free, please let us know. Contact Lori Trotter at lori@trotterssewing.com)