The Kryshak family had recently completed a trip to Asia in January 2020, as the international focus was turning toward the spread of an alarming novel coronavirus, Covid-19. The family made up of Michael and Loretta Kryshak and adult children Thaddeus and Violet, quickly understood that the family business put them in a position to respond to the threat by providing their community with much-needed disposable face masks.
Rebel Converting, the family business, manufactures hospital disinfecting wipes. As a company engineer, Thaddeus recognized that masks could be created from the company’s polypropylene fabric, the material from which Rebel’s disinfecting wipes are made. Rebel Converting began to tackle the project through Rebel Reform, the company’s philanthropic arm.
Rebel succeeded in designing the masks and was able to produce kits for assembly by a team of volunteers from area organizations and families. Six thousand kits, designed to produce 700 masks each, were assembled by the community. The team effort continued with the distribution. A social-cause advertising agency, Ignite Change, provided support, and soon the United Way’s involvement helped to facilitate pickup and delivery efforts supported by the Milwaukee Bucks and the Fiserv Forum.
Ultimately, the efforts of Rebel Reform, Unite Change, and the greater community were successful in the production, assembly, and distribution of millions of masks provided to homeless shelters, public transit riders, first responders, and others in need of this critically important infection prevention tool.
Rebel Reform continues efforts to support the community, working with other organizations to address continuing and newly evolving needs. “COVID will end, but there will always be those in need. We believe that giving back to the community is everyone’s responsibility,” says Loretta.