Making a difference, one mask at a time

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Written by Allison Hines and Kara Roberts 

Here at SAS, our culture revolves around our peopleOur endless curiosity and innovative spirit help us solve our customers’ most challenging problems – but our employees’ impact is even bigger than that. There’s strength in numbers, and during this difficult time, our employees’ generosity and creative problem-solving are helping those who need it most around the world. From providing laptops to students in need, donating to local families and businesses to giving blood, our employees are going above and beyond to lend a hand during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are just a few of the countless stories about their contributions during this challenging time.  

Making masks for healthcare workers 

David models one of the masks he printed for Masks For Docs.

Scott models one of the masks he printed for Masks For Docs.

SAS employees have stepped in to meet the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.  

Scott, a Software Development Senior Manager, and David, a Principal Software Developer, are using 3D printing technology to make face shield parts for doctors as part of the Masks For Docs effort. 

The mask they are making is from a design from Prusa 3D, one of the top printer manufacturers in the world. They open-sourced the design and are printing it on their home printers. “Generally, we’ve been making the frame parts and sending them to be finished by the Mask For Docs team,” David said. “They have clear plastic parts to attach to the frames.” 

“We sent a box of parts to California to help supply hospitals thereWe’re continuing to make them every day and will ship more boxes each week, Scott said. “While I have a small part to play, it is encouraging to be part of a global group of Makers who came together quickly to fill in part of the broken supply chain.” 

After fellow SAS employee, Kim, read about Scott and David’s efforts, she reached out to see if they were able to donate a face shield to her husband, a dentist who is still seeing patients for emergency visits. Within the day, Scott was able to get Kim’s husband two face shields to allow him to stay safe while he continues to work. 

Catherine poses with her sewing machines

Catherine is putting her passion for sewing into action.

Catherine, Analytical Education Directoris also lending a hand, putting her passion for sewing into action to make fabric masks for healthcare workers. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines allow for using fabric masks under worst case scenarios, like a pandemic, so Catherine did some research, found a pattern and contacted her neighbors to help. People offered to cut, iron, wash and deliver the finished masks to the hospitals.  

“While I could make maybe 20 masks in a weekend working alone, we combined our efforts and have made 120 masks in two weekends,” she said. “What a fantastic way for the community to come together while staying apart.”

Stack of colorful, handmade masks

Catherine's group has sewn 120 masks for healthcare workers.

Preparing meals for the community

David, a Pre-Sales Support Senior Manager, his wife and his four sons have found a way to ensure people in their community don’t go hungry during this time.  

David’s wife has worked at the local food bank at their church in Winchester for many years. Most of the food bank volunteers are elderly, but with a recent stay-at-home order for people in the UK over the age of 70, the number of volunteers has dwindled. 

In order to meet the increased needs of the community during this time, families have stepped up to volunteer at the food bank one full day each week. Since these families have been quarantining together, they are able to work together at the food bank without worrying about social distancing from one another. 

“We pack close to 70 bags of food per day for families,” David said. “We have designated drivers who wear masks and gloves to deliver to families in the community. They drop the food off at their doorstep, call to let them know it’s there and then disappear.” 

David says he’s proud to work for a company that gives him the flexibility to make this impact on his community.

David's family volunteering at the food bank

David's family is volunteering together to meet the increased needs of their community during this time.

“I can still lead my team, and also be able to give back to my community,” David said. “One of the ethos and the spirit of SAS is great generosity and being able to put the things that are important first and foremost. Allowing me to do a small bit helping at a food bank is fantastic.” 

To these employees and the countless others who have given back during this crisis, thank you for all you’ve done and for living out our values so well. To our health care heroes on the front lines, essential workers and everyone helping to protect our communities around the globe, thank you for your sacrifices to keep us safe and healthy. There’s strength in numbers, and it’s clear that amazing things happen when we all bring our skills and contributions to the table.  

We could all use a little bit of good news right now. What are some ways you’ve seen people give back during this time? Share your stories in the comments below!  


LEARN MORE | COVID-19 Resource Hub

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About Author

Alyssa Grube

Associate Communications Specialist

Alyssa Grube is an Associate Communications Specialist focused on employee programs, culture, and employer branding. She’s passionate about the intersection of people + brand, and loves sharing the SAS story with the world. Seriously, ask her about why she loves SAS – just grab a coffee first.

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