Half Million Masks In Production
More Volunteers Needed
Must Register In Advance
To Pick Up Kits
Goal Is For 2.5 Million Face Coverings For Workers In The Medical/Nonprofit Sectors
MILWAUKEE – Since Fiserv Forum began serving as a coordination site for non-surgical face mask assembly kits on April 25, nearly 500,000 face coverings are in the process of being assembled. The goal is to make and distribute 2.5 million face coverings for the medical and nonprofit community as part of the local initiative MaskUpMKE.
MaskUpMKE is seeking more volunteers to assemble the kits. Individuals must visit United Way's MaskUpMKE siteto sign up for a volunteer shift and schedule a time to drive by the Fiserv Forum loading dock to pick up a box of face covering kits to take home for assembly. The pick-up times take place daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: No face covering kits will be distributed to anyone who has not registered in advance.
Kits contain instructions and materials to make 700 face coverings. Each face covering takes approximately one to two minutes to assemble. Volunteers will return their boxes to Fiserv Forum upon completion.
Along with Fiserv Forum and the Bucks, the organizations involved in MaskUpMKE are:Rebel Converting, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Zilber Family Foundation, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha Countyand Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.
MCW, which is advising on the public health aspects of the project, will provide guidance on the allocation of the masks. Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity will assist in the physical distribution to those most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
To submit requests for face coverings, medical and nonprofit organizations should visit www.MaskUpMKE.org/request. The face coverings will be delivered after they are quarantined for 72 hours following return to Fiserv Forum.
Individuals looking for masks or face coverings who do not belong to medical and nonprofit organizations should call 2-1-1 for more information.
The face covering kits were made and donated by Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectant wipes. Overall, Rebel has committed to making and donating materials to make 3.5 million face coverings to address the growing need for personal protective equipment.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of health and community leaders have united to form MaskUpMKE, an initiative to get more face coverings into the hands of first responders and community members across Milwaukee. Participating in the collaboration are: Rebel Converting (manufacturing the non-surgical face mask kits); Medical College of Wisconsin (advising on the public health aspects of the entire project and providing oversight on the distribution of face coverings in the community); Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Zilber Family Foundation (offering overall support and coordination of all parties involved); Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum (the arena serves as the site for kit delivery, volunteer pick-up and face covering redistribution); United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County (handling volunteer coordination); and Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity (overseeing physical distribution of the face coverings in the community). Many of the partnering organizations are engaged in a cross-sector coalition formed to strategically, equitably and rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in our region. The MKE Civic Response Team is developing unprecedented systems to identify greatest needs, align resources and coordinate relief efforts around the community's top priorities.
Full Court Press
Bucks Ignite Epic Crowdsource
Fiserv Forum To Serve As Distribution Site For 2.5 Million Masks
MILWAUKEE – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiserv Forum is serving as a distribution site for 2.5 million masks as part of MaskUpMKE, a local initiative benefiting the medical and nonprofit community. The Bucks opened Fiserv Forum to house the growing supply of kits and to speed up the delivery of masks in the community. Along with Fiserv Forum and the Bucks, the organizations involved in MaskUpMKE are: Rebel Converting, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Zilber Family Foundation, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County and Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.
Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectant wipes, is making and donating the masks. The first of three semi-loads of kits were delivered to Fiserv Forum on Wednesday, April 22. Approximately 3,500 kits containing materials to make a total of 2.5 million masks will be brought to the arena. “The Bucks and Fiserv Forum are dedicated to doing our part to keep the community strong and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bucks Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Arvind Gopalratnam. “We are pleased to be part of the important MaskUpMKE initiative with Rebel Converting, Medical College of Wisconsin and so many generous and knowledgeable local organizations.”
Overall, Rebel Converting has committed to making and donating 3.5 million masks in order to address the growing need for personal protective equipment. "Rebel Converting is proud to be producing more than 3 million face mask kits for our community, and we are excited to receive this substantial commitment from the Bucks and Fiserv Forum to help us to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Rebel Converting Owner Mike Kryshak. “We are looking forward to working with the Bucks and Fiserv Forum to help us distribute these mask kits and get them into the hands of our local health care heroes and community workers in the metro Milwaukee area."
Healthy individuals are invited to visit United Way’s MaskUpMKE site to sign up for a volunteer shift and schedule a time to drive by the Fiserv Forum loading dock to pick up a box of mask kits to take home for assembly. The pick-up times take place daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the next two weeks beginning on Saturday, April 25. Kits contain instructions and materials to make 700 masks. Each mask takes approximately one to two minutes to assemble. Volunteers will return their boxes to Fiserv Forum upon completion.
Before and after completion, volunteers will answer questions to ensure they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, among other precautions. MCW has been involved in MaskUpMKE to advise on the health and safety aspects on the entire process. After a 72-hour quarantine period, the masks will be distributed to the community under the guidance of MCW. Habitat for Humanity will also assist in the physical distribution to those most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Upping Our Game
New Goal: 3.5 Million Masks
Major Retail, Manufacturers, Step Up; Operation Expands Nationally
(Saukville WI) – Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectant wipes, is tripling its initial donation of face mask kits in Wisconsin. Earlier in the month, the company shifted production to meet the growing need for personal protective equipment. Since the initial donation of a million face mask kits in April, demand for face masks has exponentially grown with daily requests pouring in from hospitals and clinics, EMTs, first responders, emergency food workers, city bus drivers, nonprofits and retirement homes. To help meet the continual increased need, Rebel Converting owner Mike Kryshak announced today the company would increase its donation to 3.5 million face mask kits.
How did the Milwaukee million mask challenge begin?
After learning of the shortage of masks nationwide and how it was affecting Milwaukee, Thaddeus Kryshak, a recent graduate in engineering and physics from the University of Miami, spoke to his father Mike Kryshak, owner of Rebel Converting about how they might be able to produce facemasks using the materials that they were already using to produce hospital-grade disinfectant wipes. Thaddeus then developed a way to convert the same material used to manufacture hospital-grade disinfectant wipes into a face mask that is similar to a surgical mask.
Rebel is donating enough of the mask kits to produce 3.5 million masks. Additionally, Rebel is supplying the materials to Wisconsin manufacturers that are donating the manpower and space to assemble the masks. Shoemaker Allen Edmonds, along with sailboat hardware and accessory manufacturer Harken, are sewing thousands of masks each week. Allen Edmonds alone anticipates 100,000 masks produced by the end of this week. National Expansion What began as a local initiative is now expanding nationally.
Recently, Rebel began donating mask “straps” to major national retailers whose tailors are sewing them and working with health care systems to distribute them nationally. So far, those masks have been distributed to Washington, Oregon, Texas and California. Plans are currently underway to expand to New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington DC and Florida. Milwaukee Nonprofits Band Together to Organize Hundreds of Volunteers Multiple nonprofits and community organizations have banded together to form the Milwaukee Civic Response Team thanks to leadership from the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the City of Milwaukee.
The team provides project strategy, funding and volunteer management for a campaign called MaskUpMKE – a social awareness campaign that was initiated by Rebel & Ignite Change that encourages Milwaukeeans to wear face masks when they go out. As part of the MaskUpMke effort, UniteMKE and the Office of Violence Prevention at City of Milwaukee Department of Health mobilized to get masks to individuals standing in line at the polls during the controversial election last week. UniteMKE also got them into the hands of community health workers and immune-compromised.
Other nonprofits, like Just One More Ministry, are taking an active role by organizing their own volunteers and have already assembled 200,000 masks to-date, with another 400,000 masks currently in assembly. Medical College of Wisconsin Assist in Distribution Locally, staff and medical students from the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute and the Medical College of Wisconsin have coordinated the assembly and distribution of nearly 200,000 masks, triaging urgent requests for masks to front line health care, police, fire and rescue workers, as well as over 50 community-based organizations and underserved communities.
These early efforts are contributing to flattening the curve of COVID-19 spread in Milwaukee. Last week, the team began working on creating a nearly touch-free distribution point for the masks throughout the Metro-Milwaukee area.
About Rebel Converting
Rebel converts giant rolls of advanced nonwoven fabrics into wet wipes that fit inside canisters, buckets and dispensers that allow end users to clean everything from operating rooms to shopping carts. We source major industrial brands and don’t sell our product to the any market under our own brand label. To do so would be a conflict of interest, the way we see it. We also believe in true partnerships saving our customers money, even when it takes money out of our own pockets in the short term. From the start, we have believed passionately in giving back to our communities - as do our family of great, experienced employees. Get to know us. We are the rebels with a cause.
About the 100 Million Mask Challenge
The 100 Million Masks Challenge was launched by Providence health care network, Renton WA. The torch has now been passed to many other organizations, including the American Hospital Association. Locally, in the Metro-Milwaukee area, Rebel Converting has committed to producing enough kits to make 3.5 million masks for the medical and nonprofit community serving those most at-risk of contracting COVID-19.
One Million Masks
Local company challenges Wisconsin manufacturers to help them produce one million masks
(Saukville WI) – Every day, as COVID-19 plagues our nations and communities, the shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for professionals in the medical field is growing exponentially. It has been projected that the United States needs 100 million medical masks, and the Providence Health Care Network in Renton WA recently put out a challenge to the nation’s companies to help meet this need.* And while many are stepping up and hand-making masks, the reality is that they do little help reduce risk of transmission against aerosolized virus like COVID-19. These cloth masks are made with regular fabric which, when tested, only filter a small amount of particles at the .3 micron size (a bandana was recently tested at 3%). While this is helpful, our healthcare workers need stronger protection.
After learning about the 100 million mask challenge, Mike Kryshak, owner of Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade wipes, began talking about the pandemic with his son Thaddeus –an engineering and physics graduate from the University of Miami--and found a solution Thaddeus found a way to use the same material they use to manufacture hospital grade disinfectant wipes into a quick and effective face mask. The mask material is about 15 times more effective at filtration than a bandana. They then discovered that the material becomes nearly twice as protective after it is electrically charged. Rebel Converting tested the material at 5K Fibres, Appleton-based producer and engineer of advanced meltblown nonwoven fabrics, and 5K Fibres then agreed to donate equipment and manpower needed to treat the material.
*About the 100 Million Mask Challenge
The 100 Million Masks Challenge was launched by Providence health care network, Renton WA. The torch has now been passed to many other organizations, including the American Hospital Association. Locally, in the Metro- Milwaukee area, Rebel Wipes has committed to producing enough kits to make 1 million masks for local hospitals.
Milwaukee Bucks/Fiserv Forum
At Allen Edmonds
Move Will Double Capacity
March 25, 2020 - Saukville-based contract disinfectant wipe manufacturer Rebel Converting LLC plans to relocate its headquarters to the Towne Corporate Park of Granville on the city of Milwaukee’s far northwest side. The company recently purchased the industrial building located at 11225 W. Heather Ave. The 95,500-square-foot facility was acquired for $4.77 million, according to a news release. Brett Garceau of Collliers International represented the seller, Rosemont, Illinois-based real estate investment firm Brennan Investment Group.
April 14, 2020 - The extraordinary circumstances of Wisconsin's spring elections made waves around the country and the world. When state Republicans forced in-person voting amid a caronavirus pandemic, Wisconsinites voted nonetheless. And they voted in massive numbers. Countless heroes worked tirelessly to keep voters as safe as possible. The big turnout stunned pundits far and wide and drew extensive coverage in the national media. Lots of folks on that day were wearing Rebel masks. We're proud to have been part of this historic event.