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Texarkana businesses make masks for first responders and community

Texarkana

TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Mayo Manufacturing and Ragland Piano Company have set aside their normal business activities to step up in the community during a time in need.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Manufacturing, a Texarkana business for 55 years, made furniture. Owner Steve Mayo said ever since the Bowie County Jail contacted them about face masks, the owner decided to make it a full-time initiative. They’re now calling it “Cover Up Texarkana”.

“She said we need it today and I said ‘well okay we’ll figure something out.’ So we came up with the disposable masks and delivered I believe it was 640 of them that day,” said Mayo.

Mayo Manufacturing also sells reusable masks to the public. A bag of 10 costs $50. All profits from the community sales help fund the donations to first responders. So far, 30,000 reusable masks and 200,000 disposable masks have been made and donated. Now, they’re in the processing of making medical gowns.

“Our mask is not a medical mask. It will keep you from sneezing on someone. It will keep someone else from sneezing on you,” said Mayo.

May said the best way to place an order is by email: masks@mayofurniture.com or mayofurniture.com

On the flip side, Howard Gustafson, the owner of Ragland Piano Company and former EMT said he doesn’t have the army of workers or factories to produce mass quantities of masks. Instead, he’s teaching the community to make their own through tutorial videos on Facebook and YouTube.

“Early on we recognized that we alone would not be able to put enough masks out to make much of a dent. We’re trying to reach out to the community and giving other entities the option of putting them together themselves. We made the videos to kind of show a step by step of how to assemble these masks,” said Gustafson.

Not only is Ragland making face masks but they’ve designed a face shield that’s also available for purchase to fund masks donations.

“The CDC was recommending bandannas and you know just cloth type things and I thought ‘I think I could probably do better than that,” said Gustafson.

Gustafson said they have masks designs available for download on their Facebook page or website. They’re also looking to partner with a local manufacturer to expand their outreach.

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