At a time like this, when many Americans are shuttered in their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can turn to fear or we can turn to effort. Fred Astaire Dance Studios is choosing the effort path.
Not only were we one of the first to offer at-home dance lessons virtually, via Zoom, (read more about that here), but we joined together with others in the ballroom dance industry to help in bigger ways.
Weeks ago, when it became apparent that American healthcare workers were experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment, including masks to protect them from viral droplets as they attend to patients suffering from COVID-19, Fred Astaire Dance Studios knew we had to help.
As a nationwide company with 180+ franchise studios across America, we bring human power and resources. We knew if we could band together with our studio owners and our partners in the ballroom dance industry, we could make a meaningful impact.
And thus, the Million Mask Movement was born.
Joining hands with Advis, a leading healthcare consulting firm, as well as Serafin & Associates and some of America’s elite dressmakers in the ballroom dance industry (including Dore Designs and Dance America), Fred Astaire Dance Studios is raising money to manufacture and distribute protective masks for healthcare workers nationwide.
These are unprecedented times, and how we respond to them will make or break us. FADS has always been a cutting-edge, entrepreneurial company. We think way outside the box. We take chances. We innovate. We meet the times. We help our communities.
Which is why it was automatic to begin thinking about ways we could help the bigger picture, using our talents and relationships to join the fight against the disease.
We know we will soon be dancing again, together, in studio. And we know that soon enough, we will turn to these very high-end designers for attire to wear to competitions. But for the time being, it’s enough to know that we are pooling resources to help bring the end to this pandemic sooner, and quicker.
This program creates masks that help prolong the life of N95 medical-grade protective masks, which are intended to be used once and then discarded. Where N95 masks are simply not available, some healthcare workers might use these as their only option.
Donations to the effort may be tax deductible through the Heritage Dance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
It is a founding principle of Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Michigan to partner with meaningful nonprofits, something we’ve always done as part of our company core values. It’s just in our blood to help when we are called to. In these times, we cannot sit idly by and wait for life-as-usual to return. We must, as we always are with FADS, stand out from the crowd and do what it takes to truly soar.
Will you help us? We are shooting for a goal of $250,000 raised toward this effort. Here’s the link to learn more.