April 10, 2020
Employees will use company’s paid volunteer program to make masks for local agencies
ANCHORAGE, Alaska —Crafty GCI employees are stepping up to the plate (and the sewing machine) and using GCI’s Employee Volunteer Program to sew much-needed cloth masks to donate to local agencies.
The effort is in response to a recent recommendation issued by State of Alaska Department of Public Health urging Alaskans to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Similar recommendations have been issued by the CDC. In response, GCI employees are setting up virtual sewing circles to begin mask production while working from their homes.
“I think we all want to do what we can to help our neighbors and community organizations in need,” said Irwin. “The GCI Volunteer program makes it easy for us to dedicate one or two days to giving back to the community while still practicing social distancing.”
Each year, GCI employees are provided 16 hours of paid leave to volunteer with non-profit organizations in their community. This year, GCI updated the program to accommodate social distancing and employees who want to volunteer from home.
Participating GCI employees will be provided with patterns and other supplies when available. With Irwin leading the efforts, GCI will also coordinate no-contact pickups of completed masks across Anchorage. Employees are encouraged to share photos, tips and sewing tricks with their coworkers virtually.
The national homemade mask movement began with the first reports about the national shortage of personal protection equipment. There are several groups on social media, in addition to many individuals around the country, who are making mass quantities of fabric masks to donate so medical-grade supplies can be reserved for front line health care workers.
“GCI has been serving Alaskans for 40 years and giving back to the community is part of our culture,” said VP of Corporate Communications Heather Handyside. “We have a phenomenal team with a big heart and I’m not surprised that GCI employees have answered the call to help their neighbors—especially in times like these. I feel fortunate to work for a company that encourages community service.”
GCI is one of Alaska’s leaders in corporate philanthropy, donating approximately $2 million each year in cash, products and connectivity to organizations across the state. GCI is committed to giving back to the communities it serves and provides employees with 16 hours of paid leave to volunteer with local organizations. In 2019, nearly 550 GCI employees volunteered more than 5,300 hours. For more information about how GCI supports organizations across Alaska, visit https://www.gci.com/why-gci/gcigives
More information about GCI’s response to COVID-19 can be found at www.gci.com/covid-19.
GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer and business customers throughout Alaska and nationwide. Headquartered in Alaska, GCI has delivered services for 40 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com . GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI Liberty, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLIBA, GLIBP). Learn more about GCI Liberty at www.gciliberty.com .
Heather Handyside, GCI