Herman Miller and the Herman Miller Cares Foundation have tapped into the energy and talents of their sewing specialists, retirees and volunteers to sew thousands of facemasks. Herman Miller is a global furniture-manufacturing firm with locations including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Wisconsin, as well as Holland and Spring Lake, Michigan.
Recently, Penny Garlock, Project Manager; Linda Brand, President Herman Miller Cares Foundation; and several of their sewing volunteers presented 300 facemasks to Kim Maguire, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO); and Rhonda Butterfield, Director Supply Chain Management. They also shared examples of the 3D-printed face shields they are producing. Herman Miller is now making regular deliveries of facemasks and face shields to Mercy Health Muskegon.
Penny Garlock said, “This journey began on the Herman Miller manufacturing floor where dedicated team members raised their voices wanting to help those in need, and using their sewing talents to make facemasks. It quickly evolved to designing a washable facemask that met not only hospital needs but global employee needs. Herman Miller employees who were furloughed, retired or who worked from home wanted to help make masks to assist Herman Miller manufacturing and hospitals. A small team formed early in April that has grown to twenty individuals producing 1,000 masks per week. Over the last few months Herman Miller, Geiger (Georgia, North Carolina) and Nemschoff (Wisconsin) have produced over 40,000 facial masks for employees, hospitals, local food banks, shelters, adult care centers and multiple charities like Mercy Health Muskegon and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.”
The Herman Miller operations team provides sewing kits to employees and community volunteers to sew at home thanks to a gift of mask fabric from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Masks made from these kits have been dubbed “Mercy masks.” Although regular production is ramping up at their plants and employees who are returning to work have less time for making masks, Herman Miller is still producing hundreds each week.
According to Claudine Weber, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Mercy Health, Herman Miller and Herman Miller Cares Foundation have been faithful community partners for more than twenty years through support for projects like the Thill Family Heart & Vascular Center, the Johnson Family Cancer Center, the new medical center and now COVID-19.
“Herman Miller Cares Foundation is honored to support Mercy Health and the COVID-19 effort in a community where many of our employees live and receive care,” said Linda Brand. Along with the masks and face shields, Linda announced they have made a gift that will provide meals for our frontline staff.
In appreciation, Kim Maguire, CNO said, “We are so grateful to the Herman Miller staff and volunteers for this very generous donation of masks, face shields and meals. You are helping us keep our patients and staff safe. Gifts like these make enduring this stressful event more bearable.”