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    Giving Back: Keith Ciarello of MacLaren Kitchen and Bath

    Sometimes a crisis helps us realize what we are capable of accomplishing. MacLaren Kitchen and Bath’s general manager, Keith Ciarlello never dreamed they would be able to support local frontline heroes using their somewhat niche manufacturing capabilities.

     

    At the start of the pandemic, a friend at Chester County Hospital asked if MacLaren Kitchen and Bath could access plastic film for face shields. So Keith went to the drawing board to create a design that their machines, normally used for slicing through granite slabs and countertops could cut. Then they gathered samples of plastic and foam and began prototyping. That, as it turnsout, was the easy part.

    After buying out all local suppliers, they searched overseas. “The hardest part was the elastic,” Keith says. “Every distributor was sold out of the proper width for face shields.” Then he realized he could use the plastic film to create a strap with a sliding lock mechanism. His wife, a maternity nurse at Paoli Hospital, tried every prototype until they got it right. Once their machines had cut the shields, straps, and foam for 1,500 shields, they assembled a socially distanced team in their large to shop to assemble them by hand.

     

    MacLaren’s face shields, with their brightly painted straps and “Heroes Work Here” stickers, protect and save lives. They are also a labor of love. First responders, including Good Fellowship Ambulance & EMS Training Institute, have been so grateful for this local support. Check out the unique assembly process here.

     

    “It’s been a sort of surreal experience,” Keith says. “It is important to realize the ability we all have to pivot and be creative, and to work together in times like this.”