All of us at home are itching to do something good for others during these uncertain times. But, are you wondering how to help? I come to you, my dear readers, to ask for your help to support a wonderful cause run by a very close friend’s cousin – Ms. Latha Chandramouli, from thelightupstore.com in Chennai, India.
About Ms. Latha
Ms Latha Chandramouli has been running thelightupstore.com since 2014, where she sells handicraft items. When COVID-19 hit India; she wanted to contribute her part – big or small to help out. That’s when she realized she could use her existing network with suppliers and make masks for people.
Regarding her feeling when the lockdown hit India, she wrote to me: “While everyone was getting depressed and feeling hopeless by looking at the news …when even the most advanced countries couldn’t give hope to people; our simple mask gives them “hope” and makes them believe that they are well protected and even if one life is saved because of our mask, then it’s worth all our efforts.”
She has been recruiting tailors – the standalone mom-and-pop type tailors (not part of any organization). The COVID situation has dried up most of their usual business. As of the date of this publication, Ms Latha now employs 43 daily wage workers. Only 3 of those tailors were working with her in her original handicraft store. Imagine that – 40 new tailors (and counting) are now able to continue working and support their families due to this mask idea…How awesome is that??!!
Regarding safety: “We are looking for tailors in low-risk areas, to ensure maximum safety. All of them have a separate room in their home to work in. They use masks and gloves while operating the machines,”
Here’s a lovely example of a family directly benefiting from this enterprise: “One of the tailors, her husband died recently and has a 6-month-old baby. She did not know how to go out and earn with a baby in hand during the lockdown. Now, she is very happy that she can work and earn from home while taking care of her baby.”
You can order the masks in bulk. Minimum orders start from 100 masks. These are wonderful masks made with great care. The mask is completely eco-friendly, stitched by hand machines, and completely reusable.
When asked about the masks, Latha said: “We only use pure cotton, because the masks need to let air pass through easily. A mixture of any other material in the fabric could trigger allergies and respiratory issues later. You can wash the mask and use it multiple times.”
Apart from buying the masks; you can also help out by donating to this wonderful cause. Your donation will help 2 ways:
- Provide continued livelihood to these tailors during these unsteady times.
- Your donations will ensure the distribution of masks to those in need: health and sanitation workers, delivery people, police, the homeless, vendors, and families who cannot afford masks.
The New Indian Express recently published an article about the valiant efforts and work done by Ms. Chandramouli and her tailors. We are surrounded by everyday heroes: our doctors, our grocery store workers, our police. Now, you get to be a hero and support these tailors.
DONATIONS CAN BE MADE VIA THE FOLLOWING SOURCES
Bank account details
Account name: Just Light
Bank name: SBI
Branch: Chamiers road, Nandanam, Chennai
Account number: 35225396699
IFSC code: SBIN0009581
Google Pay number: 9962833433
PAYPAL (US, Canada): [email protected]
Store website: https://www.thelightupstore.com/
UPDATE: The Light Up Store is now shipping masks to the US and Canada!! You can place a minimum order of 100 masks. Reach out to Latha: [email protected] to place orders.
At the current time (May 13, 2020), there are 2 types of masks available:
- 1) 2-ply cotton washable, rectangular mask cost $1.20 per mask, and
- 2) High nose mask, 2-layer cotton washable cost $1.75 per mask.
Thank you for considering it and supporting this cause. Stay safe, stay positive and sending lots of love to all my readers.