From: Stacey Gonder

The House of Sass & Magic & Flash Design Co. were mandated to close & cease production due to COVID-19 during the 3rd week of March.

At that time there was much debate about non medical grade masks for use outside of the world of health care and front line personnel. I chose to do something productive with my time once I navigated how to proceed through the business relief programs so that we, as a business can survive this new reality & get back up & running as soon as it’s encouraged.

I decided to start making mask covers to donate to people within my circle that I knew worked in health care and/or anyone working in essential services or that were in long term care residences in smaller communities. It is very important to myself and the team that the communities and organizations that aren’t at the top of the government supply chain get assistance and product that they can use to keep them safe. Slowly, I became more confident in posting on social media to let people know what I was doing. The response was overwhelming. I had no idea how many individuals were in need outside of my immediate circle both personally and professionally. The masks are 100% cotton & have a pocket for medical grade masks or a homemade filter alternative. The original intention was to help the individuals an/or organizations prolong the life of the medical grade PPE that they had at the time.

I have been moved to tears on more than one occasion since making the original post. The gratitude & support that individuals have expressed is overwhelming. The first hand stories from individuals people from all sectors were compelling. They made the reality of our new reality truly hit home. Having created and donated close to 800 masks on my own since the first week of April, I proud to have helped organizations like Second Harvest Canada, The Scott Mission, The Friends Ontario, Country Estates Retirement Residence and numerous health professionals at various hospitals in the GTA. We are currently creating scrub caps & non-medical grade masks for the First Nations residents on Parry Island.

Given that the pandemic has affected the population in many different ways, it seemed unsavoury and predatory to request payment for something that was needed by so many people to keep them out of harms way. I arrived at the decision to do a “pay what you can model for non front line individuals. Anyone in essential services and/or front line positions are absolutely free!

On behalf of the team at Flash Design Company and The House of Sass & Magic I would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has reached out to either express their thanks and/or to pick up a mask. You are all appreciated. Each one of you has left a memory with me personally. Thank you.

I am still making masks and am happy to provide for anyone that needs/wants them. Stay well and take good care of yourself & others. 💖💖

Stacey Gonder

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