Pelham-based company donates thousands of masks to hospitals

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

A Pelham-based company, Summer Classics, which manufactures and sells outdoor furniture, has donated thousands of masks to area hospitals and is also making cloth coverings for its employees and their family members.

Through its supply chain partners in Asia, Summer Classics has donated more than 18,000 N-95 and surgical masks to hospitals including Shelby Baptist, Children’s of Alabama, UAB, St. Vincent’s, Birmingham VA Medical Center and Brookwood Baptist.

Vice President of Human Resources David McLean said the company is looking to donate another 30,000 masks to the medical community.

“The donations really started out as us purchasing them thinking we would need to equip our employees, but after realizing the healthcare industry was in dire need of supplies, we decided at that point going forward we would donate anything we had coming to the healthcare community,” McLean said.

Also, in order to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Summer Classics has manufactured more than 1,200 masks—or more accurately, cloth coverings—for employees and family members of employees in the 14 states where the company operates.

Curbside pickup is available for employees of the Pelham location. Packets include a bag with masks and instructions. Retail stores are currently closed to the public, while manufacturing plants are still in operation.

About 70 percent of the company’s employees are working remotely, McLean said.

“We will continue to donate (masks) throughout April,” McLean added.

He credited the company’s CEO, Bew White, and son, President William White, with making the decision to donate.

Summer Classics has a COVID-19 Resource Center web page available at Summerclassics.com/covid-19-resource-center/. Also, see the Shelby County Reporter’s page on how to make a cloth covering mask at Shelbycountyreporter.com/2020/04/14/how-to-make-a-cloth-face-mask/. More resources are available at Cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.