An Oro-Medonte company handed out about 2,000 free face shields to local businesses and organizations Friday.
Molded Precision Components (MPC) invited representatives to pick up the Shield-U face shields early in the afternoon in the Royal Canadian Legion parking lot on Mississaga Street or, later, in front of St. Louis Bar and Grill in west Orillia.
“They’re clearly very grateful,” said MPC president and co-owner David Yeaman, “not just because it’s free, but because it’s a decent product that’s environmentally friendly.”
The face shield’s components are both reusable and recyclable. They do not include foam or elastics, unlike many shields.
“Just because it’s a pandemic doesn’t mean we can stop caring about the Earth,” Yeaman said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, MPC employed 55 people. Now that it has changed focus to make face shields, there are 160 people working, and MPC is producing about 450,000 of the items every day.
Yeaman said it made sense to offer the shields for free as part of a partnership with Sterling Industries.
Businesses such as restaurants “have been suffering for months and we can help them in this way,” he said.
“We (at MPC) have avoided disaster, so we’re trying to help others who haven’t been able to.”
MPC has also provided the face shields to retirement homes, child-care facilities and others who are working during the pandemic.
Yeaman said he has been impressed by the “friendliness and upbeat attitude” of those he has met while distributing the face shields in Orillia.
“These are tough times, so that’s been really refreshing,” he said.
The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce has benefited from the company’s generosity, too. MPC provided face shields for the chamber’s staff at the Port of Orillia as well as ServiceOntario employees.
“We hit a home run just by connecting with David and his amazing team. He’s an inspiration to other businesses,” said Allan Lafontaine, the chamber’s managing director. “Businesses needed help and this is a kind, generous thing he’s doing.”
Lafontaine said it’s important, from a business perspective, for retailers and restaurants to have personal protective equipment.
“The numbers are showing us that if you’re safe, the customers will return,” he said.
He also thanked Blue Mountain Linen, which has provided some disposable face masks for customers at no charge.
Any businesses that couldn’t make it Friday to pick up face shields can email email@example.com. There is a limited supply.
Individuals wanting to purchase face shields can do so on the Shield-U website.