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Lions to Fund Production of Medical Masks, Hospital Gowns Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 3, 2020

A Detroit Lions helmet is shown with the new team logo in Madison Heights, Mich., Monday April 20, 2009. The team’s comprehensive new brand includes a new logo, new uniforms and other branding elements. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions are working to provide aid to citizens and medical workers during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The team announced its player-led social justice initiative, Detroit Lions Inspire Change, will provide funding to the Empowerment Plan for the month of April as the group makes medical grade surgical gowns and masks.

"Empowerment Plan is so grateful for the generosity and support of the Detroit Lions," Empowerment Plan CEO Veronika Scott said in the release. "With their gift we will be able to play our small part in helping to protect those risking their lives every day. Pre-production began last week under the guidance of [the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center] and official production is set to begin on April 6."

Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based non-profit organization founded in 2012 which trains and employs homeless women and manufactures coats given to homeless people in the city. The Lions and Empowerment Plan have worked on projects together since 2016.

The organization's facilities had to temporarily shut down last month because of the pandemic, but it has continued to pay its employees. 

The Lions noted their grant to the Empowerment Plan will allow the organization to operate throughout the month of April, with 15 seamstresses able to return to work "in the coming weeks to produce medical masks and gowns while receiving their regular pay." 

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