Local SMART Union stepping up to make nose pieces for people sewing masks

Union makes and donates metal parts for masks

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The SMART Union is stepping up to donate a small item that's making a big difference for those making masks.

Sheet metal union members are making metal nose bridges that people can sew in their masks to help them fit.

SMART Local Union No. 24's Business Manager John Williams said, "We created the organization inside the organization called the SMART ARMY. We got together and brainstormed on ways that we may be able to help in this pandemic."

Using donated aluminum sheets from contractors, Williams and his colleague Mike Thorne are cutting it into small pieces - the perfect size for a mask.

"We have partnered with area mask makers that are hand-making cloth masks and we are making the aluminum pieces that are sewn into the masks," Williams explained.

The small aluminum piece helps the masks fit more securely on the face. The men have hand-counted each piece, and mailed them to area mask makers for free.

"Yesterday we shipped out 1,500, and overnight we get some more orders of a hundred. Some will order 50. We've even had people order two," Williams stated.

Nationwide, the SMART union has donated over a million.

"The response is wonderful. People are just so happy. They were trying to use a wire in these masks that they were getting from local area hardware stores because you can't find these at the Home Depot," Williams said.

The masks being made have gone to first responders and health care workers.

Williams and Thorne are happy to do their part in what's become a chain reaction of people helping one another.

"We send them a note telling them thank you for your service and working hard," Williams said.

To order a nose piece for a mask, fill out the SMART Union’s form here.

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