Human Resources Director Shares Her Creativity to Help Others
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
Dr. Maya Angelou made this statement in her first collection of essays, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, which was published in 1993. After nearly 30 years, this statement still rings true. It also embodies the spirit of our team members to assist others in need in any way they can.
When COVID-19 began impacting front-line workers in hospitals and all over the city, Human Resources Director Alison Nisbett was called upon to contribute in her own way. Alison’s cousin is an obstetrician who was working in a hospital facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE. As pandemic-related hospitalizations continued to spike, doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the hospital where Alison’s cousin worked needed N95 mask covers to keep themselves safe while attending to patients. These covers, which look like bigger masks, are worn over N95 masks to protect them from any damage or contamination. They are critical when hospitals are facing PPE shortages because they help extend a mask’s use. When Alison’s cousin called and asked her if she could make N95 mask covers for the hospital staff, she was ready to step up and help.
Alison has a passion for textiles and fabrics. She enjoys expressing her creativity with these materials so much, she launched and now runs a small business that sells doggie bowties and accessories along with apparel that she sews herself. This business came to be partly because she loves collecting fabric. “The way some people feel about shoes, I feel about fabric,” she said. “If I see some, I have to get it.” This collection came in handy for making the N95 mask covers, and when Alison received the call from her cousin, she went straight to work.
By April 14, Alison had produced 50 N95 mask covers, which she then donated to healthcare workers throughout Atlanta. She went on to produce more than 400 mask covers and regular masks not only for Atlanta area residents but also for those living in her native England, who were also being advised to wear masks. A great deal of care and consideration went into the production of the masks because Alison wanted to make sure they would be operational, yet comfortable. “I design the covers so they are at least double- or triple-layered,” she explained. “The first layer is cotton for comfort, and then I use a thicker material for the middle layer. But it’s all breathable and effective.”
Thanks to Alison’s efforts, hundreds of people in Atlanta and beyond were able to meet the CDC guidelines of wearing masks in public. She also helped dozens of front-line healthcare workers extend the lives of their critical PPE while working hard to save their patients.
Congratulations to Alison for earning a 2020 MarketSource Hero Award. Her commitment to Serving Others—a MarketSource corporate value—allowed others to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.