Welcome to Local Heroes, our new series featuring Detroiters working during the COVID-19 pandemic to take care of one another. We hope you’ll check in to meet and support these men and women who are truly making a difference and restoring our faith in humanity.

Jen Guarino, CEO ISAIC, Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center

Before the pandemic hit, ISAIC the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center was set to become the national centre of excellence for sewn trades furthering the emerging apparel industry in Detroit.

However, when the COVID-19 crisis brought a staggering need for PPE to Detroit, Jen Guarino, CEO of ISAIC and former VP of Manufacturing at Shinola, shifted gears and began manufacturing millions of masks and thousands of gowns.

“Although it’s not how we envisioned the factory opening, we are thrilled that it finally happened and that we can contribute to the critical need for masks and gowns.”

Today, the not-for-profit organization in partnership with Carhartt, has centralized one of the area’s most substantial responses in the production of PPE. In the coming weeks an on-line portal for other businesses to order gowns and masks will be operational.

Manufacturing PPE at ISAIC

“Like everyone else, we’re trying to find some silver linings in our current situation. For ISAIC we’re able to help protect our healthcare workers while continuing our mission of talent force development in Detroit. And we’re providing our team with opportunities for learning additional skills on emerging and advanced technologies that will serve them for future career paths.”

Click here to support the important work of the ISAIC. 

Allen Long is one of nearly half a million UPS workers around the world making sure your parcels get delivered during the pandemic. UPS and other shipping companies are considered “critical infrastructure” by the federal government and if you depend on deliveries of medicine, food, and toilet paper, you have Allen and his team at UPS to thank. 

In addition to doctors, nurses, health care workers, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, grocery store staff and stockers, Allen and his army of drivers make our stay-at-home lives possible.

As a UPS driver/supervisor Allen provides PPE, encouragement, and whatever it takes to keep his team of essential drivers motivated to work longer days and deliver hundreds more daily parcels than usual to keep Detroiters safe and the economy moving. 

“It’s a true honor for me to be a lifeline to the outside world for people who are quarantined and cannot leave their homes.” 

UPS has donated 10,000 N95 respirator masks to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. They have also designated local SE Michigan stores as iPad donation centers for DMC patients battling COVID-19 so they can talk safely over FaceTime and see their loved ones. 

If you have an old iPad you’d like to donate, bring it to your local UPS store or email Rob Wolchek at fox2newsdesk@foxtv.com and put iPad in the subject line. Rob will make sure your iPad gets to a patient that needs it at the DMC.

And don’t forget to thank your local UPS driver!

Kate Lazarski Prints Charming Doodles

Like most of us, Kate Lazarski, Business Development Specialist for Bedrock has been spending a lot of time indoors. Putting her time to good use, she’s taken on a new hobby – doodling her favorite subject – food! 

“I was posting my doodles on Instagram just for fun, and my followers and friends started asking if they could buy them.”

Given her doodles are all food-related, and the Detroit restaurant industry has been taking such a big hit during the COVID-19 crisis, Kate wanted to give back. She quickly opened an Etsy store and decided to sell the PDFs and donate the proceeds to her favorite local restaurants. 

“These local restaurants are what makes Detroit so great – they’re everything to our city. Ordering takeout, donating to their Go Fund Me pages, or even just streaming a cocktail making class or live DJ set helps. Every little bit matters!”

Purchase a print from Kate’s Etsy Shop (prints are $10 each and are instant downloads) and please support Detroit restaurants and order directly!