NC manufacturers provide protective equipment for vulnerable farm workers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It seems simple, but a face mask could be the difference between life and death and making sure North Carolinians have the food they need.

"You are hot and sweaty and standing shoulder to shoulder--they need all of the protective gear they can get," said Aaron Dawson, a representative for Carolina Textile District.

Dawson works with the Industrial Commons. When the pandemic began, his whole focus shifted to bringing 60 North Carolina manufacturers together to create personal protective equipment.

"It's literally keeping their doors open right now. They're continuing to manufacture through this project. We're supplying them the raw materials, they're sewing these masks and gowns, and then we pay them for it," Dawson said.

When the Raleigh-based group Education Without Barriers approached Dawson with an idea, the manufacturers jumped right into helping provide masks for the farm workers of North Carolina who continue to supply our food during the pandemic.

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"We need to keep folks safe. We need to keep folks working. We need to be eternally grateful for the sacrifice they're giving to our region and our country," Dawson said.

And even if they help just one farm, Dawson said it's one step closer to protecting our North Carolina.

"I hope they feel that there are folks out there that care, that they're not invisible," Dawson said.

Industrial Commons' goal right now is to raise $5,000 to make masks for farm workers. That will cover the workers at about one farm. If you would like to donate, click here.

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