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LA Shoe Company Launches Effort To Sew Masks For Medical Workers

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles-based shoemaker has launched a campaign to produce masks for medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Tieks by Gavrieli retooled its facility, bought a fleet of sewing machines and retrained employees to create masks for what they call "Operation #sewTOGETHER."

"In response to the global scarcity of essential medical supplies, we've been donating medical-grade face masks and stitching and distributing lower-grade masks to hospitals in the Los Angeles area facing extreme shortages—and we need your help," the shoemaker wrote on their website.

The masks are being immediately donated to local hospitals, according to the company.

"If thousands of us sew lower-grade masks together, we can make hundreds of thousands of much-needed masks for hospitals across the country."

The company said they would be giving a $50 Tieks gift card to anyone who stitches and donates 25 masks, or a $100 Tieks gift card for 50 or more masks.

Thousands of masks are already on their way to hospitals and clinics within 24 hours of the campaign being launched, according to Kfir Gavrieli, the company's CEO.

"Overnight, we have managed to create a work-from-home factory with thousands of amazing members of our Tieks family, who have mobilized to pump
out hundreds of thousands of masks,'' Gavrieli said. "As soon as I learned of this coming shortage, I knew we had a responsibility to reorient our business
to get masks into the hands of those who need them most. We've seen the tremendous power of our Tieks community many times before, but the response so far has been beyond anything I could have imagined.''

Gavrieli said he learned of the shortage of medical masks through a friend whose sister is a frontline medical provider.

Find more information Operation #sewTOGETHER visit

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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