Grandview Public Market’s Loading Dock is quieter these days. Gone are the happy hour crowds and the trivia teams, the laughter shared over food. However, the market’s strong sense of community remains. Grandview is actively assisting the local community by serving as a drop-off point for efforts by Volunteers of the Palm Beaches to supply more than 1,000 hand-made protective face masks to local health care professionals who need them.
In order to fulfill the demand, the West Palm Beach–based nonprofit organization needs donations of the necessary supplies, which can be dropped off at Grandview, located at 1401 Clare Ave. in West Palm Beach, Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Requested items include 100 percent cotton fabric, light-weight, non-woven interfacing, light-weight flannel, grosgrain ribbon, and three-eighths inch or smaller elastic or grosgrain ribbon.
“Being able to assist in this collective effort to help our community through this crisis and pitch in to get health care professionals what they need through the efforts of Volunteers of the Palm Beaches is so rewarding,” says Joe Muniz, general manager of Grandview Public Market. “Our mission has always been to serve the public, and this way we stay true to our mission even when the market is closed.”
“We’re beyond grateful to have a central, easy-access drop-off point, protected from the weather,” says Kimberly Maxwell, co-founder of Volunteers of the Palm Beaches. “This is speeding up production significantly—allowing us to continue to help fill the gap in the face mask supply that local health care workers are facing. Just this morning, more face masks were delivered to several health care facilities, including the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach. This quick turnaround time would not have been made possible without the overwhelming support of the team at Grandview Public Market.”
Previously, Grandview Public Market’s Loading Dock served as a place for volunteers to assemble the masks while keeping a safe distance, but as distancing guidelines grew more stringent, that had to shut down. Volunteers of the Palm Beaches has now created sewing and fabric kits for volunteers who sign up to help in their own homes. All of the information can be accessed on the nonprofit’s website. Anyone interested in helping sew, cut fabric, or run supplies can sign up to help out on the organization’s website. Health care providers in need are also asked to visit the website to request masks.
While the volunteer-made face masks are not as effective as N95 masks, the CDC approves of their use when no medical-grade masks are available. The face masks are washable and reusable.