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  • Alyssa Abrams

NEW! Be The Change

Updated: May 6

Having spearheaded the Be The Change initiative for the D&D, I'm proud and determined to keep the momentum alive by sharing opportunities to get involved and spotlighting individuals doing their part. We've all heard of the hero manufacturers and companies that have transitioned their facilities to produce PPE and enacted other life-saving initiatives, but here are a few ways you as an individual can take action today.



NEW! The Carolina Textile District has organized kits, shipping, and handling for making masks for healthcare workers and those who need them. They have partnered with manufacturers, including O. Henry House. O. Henry House has invited a small staff who are comfortable working to make the much needed masks. They have implemented extra safety measures in their workrooms and have a goal to make 1,000 masks every couple weeks. 

Mannarino Designs


NEW! Your Home Collaboration is bringing the design community together to give back to the Covid-19 frontline healthcare workers. Anna Maria Mannarino of Mannarino Designs, who launched the program, is asking designers from around the country to donate a One Room Design Consultation to these heroes. Designs can be done virtually or in-person (at a later date of course), and where they take it beyond the consultation is totally up to them. With Sherwin Williams leading the way, vendors, contractors and workrooms are also jumping on board. In just the first week, designers from 14 States have signed up. For more information, visit nj.com or email mannarinodesigns@comcast.net to get involved.

Re-usable protective masks in Sheila Bridges' Harlem Toile fabric. Designer Beth Diana Smith. Candace Cort and one of the many healthcare professions her efforts support.


Have spare cotton fabric samples? Turn them into protective face masks to donate to your local hospitals. Find instructions here and be sure to share your creations with me on Instagram @lyssidoll12. Can't make your own? Donate cotton fabric to fashion designer, Candace Cort or interior designer Beth Diana Smith to aid in their effort. For more resources visit Domino's article here.

With the current COVID-19 global crisis, DIFFA's work is more important than ever. They need your help to step to the frontlines to support those who are the most vulnerable in the community at this time. No amount is too big or too small, so please head to www.diffa.org/donate to help them help those who need it most.

As a Safer Spaces committee member, I'm proud to continue our partnership with MomsDemandAction. MDA started out with digital advocacy, through Facebook groups and video calls; for our volunteers, organizing online is our bread and butter. We may be separated by physical distance, but we're still finding ways to come together. Join the Gun Sense Action Network from the safety of your home.

Cerno Lighting employees volunteer to make PPE.


Cerno Lighting pivots to make PPE Face Shields. Co-founders Daniel Wacholder and Nick Sheridan designed a product using open-source forums online, leveraging the capabilities of the Cerno team and facility, and generously discounted materials by Professional Plastics. To date, Cerno has produced more than 3,000 face shields that have been donated to hospitals in Southern California with the goal of 10,000 total. “Daniel spearheaded this effort, but without the help of so many people jumping in to assist, it would not have been possible. We realize that our contribution to this global crisis is small, but we hope that it inspires many more small manufacturers around the county to help where they can, and the collective effort makes a real impact,” said Bret Englander, Co-Founder of Cerno. Find out more on Instagram @cerno_group.

If you are willing and able, download community message board Nextdoor to offer aid to your neighbors. I've made several grocery store runs, taking proper sanitation precautions, for the elderly tenants in my building. We must do our part to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

The effects of physical isolation combined with the uncertainty caused by the health and resulting financial crisis can be overwhelming and take a serious toll on our mental health. Take the time to reach out to your loved ones, it helps both of you to remember that we're not in this alone. For more ideas on how to stay mentally and emotionally well, check out the CDC's article on Stress and Coping.

My brother, Cause of a Kind Founder Justin Abrams recently rescued his new pup Ashe, saving her from the overwhelmed shelter system.


Now is a great time to adopt a pet to reduce the potential strain on shelters and to offer to foster in case shelters start receiving an increase in requests for foster care of pets for seriously ill or hospitalized people. Please reach out to shelters and rescue groups in your area for more information. From humanesociety.org.



Are you taking action in your community? I'd love to hear about it and share with our virtual community so we can all rise together. Submit your initiative via the Contact Form.


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