Downtown east side (DTES), the poorest postal code in Canada, is a gathering place for Vancouver’s homeless. Due to the lack of basic sanitizing facilities, masks for personal protection are a luxury item. The area also has a higher concentration of unemployed and low-i
ncome families that cannot afford a box of mask. In view of this, the Lotus Light Charity Society, located in DTES, has decided to mobilize volunteers to produce 10,000 reusable washable cloth masks and distribute them to the vulnerable, free of charge.
Due to the supply chain being affected by the pandemic, sewing 10,000 masks was no small feat. For example, the price of cloth has drastically multiplied. Black colored cloth, one of the more popular colour variants, has quadrupled in price! Additionally, large cloth shops and stores are out of stock. Not to mention, ordering online has significant shipping delays and complications. Furthermore, bundles of elastic bands, worth merely a few cents the year before, has now become dozen times its original price.
As there are limited funds available, the Charity has mobilized volunteers to visit cloth shops around the city to gather cotton cloths for the project. After describing the need to produce masks for the vulnerable, a generous cloth shop owner has sold us a variety of materials, needed for mask production, even below his cost. Some overseas benevolent people heard that the charity could not order elastic bands domestically, so they took the initiative to contact local manufacturers to order the bands at their own expense and shipped them directly to Vancouver. The boss of the garment factory only charges a small fee for cutting the cloth for the charity, and a large number of volunteers from all communities are participating to sew the mask at home. In just a few days, the volunteers have used their spare time to make a thousand of masks that will soon be delivered to the vulnerable! Thank you for the support from all the generosity supporter.