Merrimack alumnus Michael McMahon ’06 is chief operating officer of his family’s business Furniture Concepts, a custom furniture manufacturer and upholstery company located in Malden, Massachusetts. While finishing a recent installation at an area hospital, McMahon saw firsthand the impact of the coronavirus on health care workers. As the virus spread and medical supplies dwindled, McMahon knew it was time to act and help his community.
McMahon determined that his company had the ability to shift into mask making and developed a plan to manufacture and donate masks to medical workers in need.
He quickly restructured the production floor at Furniture Concepts to transition to mask making. With the safety of his team in mind and social distancing protocols for employees in place, they began producing masks using rolls of leftover cotton fabric from previous projects.
“We have a machine that cuts 26 feet of fabric at a time – that makes a lot of masks,” McMahon said. “We can make 250 masks a day.”
With production details ironed out, McMahon turned to social media to find out where masks were needed most. A friend in nursing responded to his Facebook post and placed the first order, followed by additional requests from others.
Knowing he would need more fabric to meet demand, McMahon turned to social media again. His main supplier answered with a donation of seven rolls of white cotton fabric and daily donations began showing up at the business.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity,” McMahon said.
Furniture Concepts has been delivering masks on a daily basis to area medical facilities. McMahon often transports the donations himself. It’s especially important to get the masks to small health care facilities that are having difficulty getting them now, he said.
More than 5,000 medical masks have already been manufactured and delivered to Boston-area hospitals and small health care facilities at no cost.