Owners of Beach clothing store that had to close two weeks after opening now busy making masks for Michael Garron Hospital

Teresa D'Souza makes masks for Michael Garron Hospital at UKDESIGNERSALE store on Queen Street East in the Beach. Photo: Submitted.

By ALLISON PALMER

The owners of recently opened Beach business UKDESIGNERSALE are busy doing their part to help the Michael Garron Hospital’s drive for donated fabric masks.

The store opened its doors on March 1 on Queen Street East, and two weeks later had to close due to the ordered shut down of many businesses to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The store sells unique clothing imported from the United Kingdom.

Once the closure happened, store owners Teresa and Clem D’Souza immediately started making fabric masks for the hospital.

“Quite early on, we heard talk about the shortage of masks and I think they knew there wouldn’t be enough so that’s why we started making them,” Teresa said.

A notice posted on the Michael Garron Hospital website inspired the couple to start designing masks, and so far they’ve managed to make more than 80 of them.

Every day the couple heads to the store and designs as many masks as they can.

Teresa said she uses a sewing machine that is 100 years old, has been through two world wars, and is now being used during this pandemic to make masks.

Teresa said the masks all look different and are made with fabric and elastic. They are comfortable and can be washed and re-used.

“The masks are not medical grade but they’re using them to help patients and people who are coming in to visit, people doing deliveries, it’s not actually for the (medical) staff,” Teresa said.

She said transitioning back to normal life will be challenging once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Teresa said it is a stressful time for everyone, not just those who recently opened a new business.  “I think it will be quiet weird and hard for everybody,” she said of getting back to normal when the time comes.

Though she is worried, she is hopeful time will allow everyone to get back to their regular schedules.

“We really love our store, we don’t want to give it up, it’s a great space,” Teresa said.

For more information on UKDESIGNERSALE, please visit https://ukdesignersale.com/

For more information on the Michael Garron Hospital’s drive for fabric masks made by the community, please visit www.mghf.ca/mgh1000masks

The hospital is also putting out a call for personal protective equipment (PPE) donations that can be used by its medical staff. For more information, visit www.theppedrive.com


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