The Bridgewater Commons mall is honoring a local volunteer group that makes PPE for front-line workers this holiday season. The group in the spotlight is The Mask Squad, a Bridgewater-based non-profit, volunteer organization which began sewing face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for community’s first responders and medical workers at the start of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“The Mask Squad is a very special, dedicated entity filled with hope, kindness and true neighborly spirit,” remarked Bridgewater Commons Marketing Director Tom Kovacic in a press release, adding “during this unprecedented year we have all faced together, Bridgewater Commons is honored to not only recognize The Mask Squad and their growing team of over 250 area volunteers, but to support their efforts in helping other selfless individuals in our community who remain hard at work keeping neighbors and residents safe and protected during this time.”

The Mask Squad was founded by Bridgewater residents Jennifer Loughran and Stacey Friedlander. They describe their group like this:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of N95 masks and other PPE, a group of neighbors in New Jersey began sewing homemade surgical masks out of their homes. The masks were based on patterns circulated on the Internet and guided by requests from hospitals, nursing homes, immuno-compromised individuals and the medical workers themselves. As we field more and more requests, both in and around Somerset County, we recruit more dedicated individuals who help us sew, distribute the masks, field new requests, spread the word, and solicit funding and materials.

“From all of us at The Mask Squad, we are grateful to Bridgewater Commons for their support and collaboration,” said Loughran. “We believe community is strongest when it bans together for the benefit of all and to have our local shopping center recognize and reward our ongoing efforts, especially during the holiday season, is tremendous.”

If you want to join the Mask Squad or donate to their efforts, click here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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