Six Beehive Clothing plants owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, the Philippines, Salt Lake City and American Fork, Utah have shifted production to make cloth face masks and surgical gowns for healthcare workers. Although Beehive’s four international locations were closed due to COVID-19, governments allowed them to reopen to sew masks for their communities.
Workers have already sewn over half a million masks and 50,000 gowns. The Daily Herald reported on May 20 that the Brazil plant “plans to produce 600,000 masks and cut an additional 600,000 for volunteers in local congregations to sew. Up to 300,000 masks are being sewn in Paraguay. The Philippines plant is making 400,000 masks. Workers in Mexico are planning to sew 200,000 masks during the project.”
Beehive Clothing is employing social distancing at its facilities and has worked in conjunction with Intermountain Healthcare and other consultants to make sure the surgical gowns provide proper protection. The goal is to sew 200,000 surgical gowns by the end of June.
In a press statement, as reported by The Daily Herald, Stan Howell, global director of Beehive Clothing said, “If there is a shortage of something and we can have a small impact on that, we’re going to do everything we can.” Local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also doing what they can – sewing masks for nursing homes in Dalton – helping with tornado clean-up and with food donations. As previously reported, The Church sent more than 40,000 pounds of food to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
“We are all in this together,” Celeste Ward, Relief Society president of The Chattanooga Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said. The Relief Society is the women’s organization of the Church, one of the largest and oldest women’s organizations in the world. “Our motto is ‘Charity never faileth,’” Mrs. Ward said. “We are committed to serving whenever and however we can because we are followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who forever teaches 'on earth peace, goodwill toward men'” (Luke 2:14).