Healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are running out of essential personal protective equipment as healthcare facilities are inundated with sick patients.

As medical facilities and workers pleas for more protective gear,  local businesses are stepping up to help healthcare employees on the front line.

Alexis Williams, the founder of Aloha Glamour,  is one of those businesses. The boutique based in Gulfport, Mississippi, is selling reusable Ankara-print face masks in response to the need. For every face mask sold, she is donating a free one to local health care workers. 

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“My masks are 100% cotton, reversible, reusable and machine washable,” said Williams. “My masks are not meant to replace surgical masks, but it is a contingency plan for those who don’t have the ability to get surgical masks because of the shortage. It is not medical[ly] rated, but it is good enough to filter out hazardous particles and bad smells. The response to it has been overwhelming and we want to do anything we can to help out.”

And while the masks are not N95 certified, they are big enough to wear over the top of an N95 mask. The goal is to help with keeping your hands off your face – one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

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“I decided to encourage my other customers to help provide masks for those on the front line in this pandemic battle,” Williams added. “I asked them to make contributions so my business could provide face masks for someone in public service for free. Several of my customers have responded by donating to help in this important effort.”