Our story began with a group of Louisville, KY moms and their social network, calling themselves H3: Helping Healthcare Heroes. In early March, they shared an all-points bulletin that staffers at area hospitals and other front-line workers faced a shortage of protective face masks, and they mobilized into action. Calling on their friends, they began to coordinate volunteer helpers and seamstresses to sew high-end filtered cloth masks.
H3 has continued their efforts with the cloth masks, and by early April, donated 2000+ of these to local hospitals and healthcare facilities in Louisville. But they realized that the need was so much greater. That's when they reached out and partnered with 502cares.
We have come alongside this grassroots effort, and started coordinating the effort to produce high-quality, medical-grade masks with a dedicated team, including two trusted and established Louisville organizations. Working with CrossRoads Missions, a mission-focused non-profit, and CRG Automation, a design and manufacturing company, has allowed us to move toward production of a higher volume of this critical medical protective equipment.
Early work has been encouraging. CrossRoads Missions has contributed to design and prototyping as well as early supplies, as it retooled its commercial embroidery equipment to produce face masks and has already made and shipped 6,000+ masks. CRG Automation has been instrumental in furthering the product design and production development, supply chain management, as well as manufacturing, quality and distribution efforts. Together, we’ve secured the supplies required to produce and deliver 50,000+ masks in the coming weeks for our first production run. In parallel, we intend to continue our efforts in increasing production output as well as achieving an N95 certified mask with weekly production rates of 100,000+.
These life-saving masks will go to those in most need, with specific emphasis on our first responders and hospital staff. However, we will also provide for anyone who is at risk without protection. If you have a need, please submit your request here.
With our operations quickly ramping up, we’re now sending out our own all-points bulletin: We need your help.
James and Melissa have fulfilled their personal goal of starting a charitable organization with 502cares, Inc. Missy is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who works for Phoenix Health Center providing Primary Care to the homeless population of Louisville. She has provided medical outreach at many local homeless shelters including Volunteers of America Family Emergency Shelter, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Jude’s, Wayside Christian Mission and UP for Women and Children.
Missy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She worked as a Critical Care Nurse in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston where she also received her Master’s Degree in Nursing. She volunteers at Epiphany Catholic Church as a Catechist where she teaches First Holy Communion to 2nd graders.
James is a graduate from Dallas Jesuit where he was first instilled with the serving mission of ‘Men for Others’. James went on to serve his country by attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and serving 10 years in the Naval Reserves. ‘Acta Non-Vebra’ (Deeds Not Words), the academy’s motto, soon became something that James inherently took to heart in everything he set out to do. James is currently serving as the President of CRG Automation, a Louisville-based Automation company.
Helping others, giving back to the community and modeling service is not only important to making a difference and changing lives today but for cultivating the next generation.
In early March, Tom’s wife, Leslie, started organizing H3: Helping Healthcare Heroes with Tom and her friends Carla Judd, a nurse practitioner, and Amy Bankston, also in the medical field. They recognized the pending shortage of critically needed face masks for the healthcare community in Louisville. Their initial efforts led to the donation of over 2000 cloth masks to the community, including Norton Hospital. Their work also led them to a much larger undertaking with 502cares.
Leslie and Tom live in Louisville where Tom is a physician and President at Retina Associates of Kentucky. After training at Duke and Emory University, he's been caring for patients with retinal disease in Kentucky since 2002. He is Principal Investigator at Retina Associates for multiple national and international clinical trials and is the author of numerous articles in medical journals. He has been active volunteering at his church and has participated in international medical missions.
Rob Minton is the founder and director of CrossRoads Missions. He graduated from Milligan College where he met his wife, now Dr. Beth Minton. Rob and Beth both share a strong background in missions and field service. Beth's family served in Zimbabwe, Africa, in the 70's and 80's. Beth also served with CrossRoads Missions and SVOSH (Student Volunteers in Optometric Services to Humanity).
Rob's introduction to missions was through multiple short- and medium-term opportunities in South, Central, and North America. These life-changing adventures showed him the effectiveness of service-based missions. Rob has a passion for solving problems and mobilizing the Church and Individuals to meaningful acts of service.
Brian is a results-oriented supply chain and finance executive with a proven track record of success. During his 30-year career, he has analyzed and resolved complex and cross-functional business problems, saving billions in manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, and procurement costs. He boasts extensive experience in planning, forecasting, budgeting, and business valuations.
Prior to joining the 502cares board & CRG Automation, Brian spent more than 20 years at two Fortune 500 companies — Coca-Cola and Corning — as well as a variety of roles at smaller companies and startups. Brian has participated on the Finance Committee of numerous Parish Councils and has led the Back to School Book Supply Drives for numerous Parish Clusters in Upstate NY.
We’ve all heard the term 501(c)(3), the Internal Revenue Service designation for nonprofits accepting tax-deductible donations. While 502cares is soon to be a 501(c)(3), we also like to refer to ourselves as 502c, reflecting the combination of our charity status and the 502 area-code here in our home base of Louisville, Kentucky. Our daughter deserves the credit for the combo.
The first logo color was inspired by our very own Gov. Andy Beshear with his plea to the Commonwealth to display Green lights on their homes as a show of solidarity and compassion. We couldn’t agree more. The Blue outline of Kentucky in the logo represents the “Bluegrass State” and of course Red, for urgency and care.