Engineering Ways to Help and Protect Kentuckians

Who We Are

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.


Board of Directors

James & Melissa DeSmet – Co-Founders

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.

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Tom Stone – Director

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.

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Rob Minton - Director

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).

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Brian Pierson - Director

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.

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Team Members

Leslie Stone
Volunteer since Mar 17, 2020
Carla M. Judd, APRN, FNP-C, Norton Healthcare, Baptist Health: Urgent Care APRN.
Volunteer since Mar 17, 2020
Amy Bankston
Volunteer since Mar 17, 2020
Thomas Noble – CRG Automation, Sourcing Manager
Volunteer since Mar 30, 2020
Ed Stogner – CRG Automation, Director of Engineering
Volunteer since Mar 30, 2020
Garry Eades – CRG Automation, Director of Manufacturing
Volunteer since Mar 30, 2020
Jeff Gilkey – CRG Automation, Director of Sales & Marketing
Volunteer since Mar 30, 2020
Jason Liew – CRG Automation, Project Manager
Volunteer since Apr 7, 2020
Shay Hammond – Dazel Print & Web, Owner
Volunteer since Mar 31, 2020
Alex Reed – Truman’s, Co-founder & CMO
Volunteer since Apr 4, 2020
Bob Mattingly – Crown Packaging, Director
Volunteer since Apr 6, 2020
Don Hayes – Crown Packaging, Equipment Specialist
Volunteer since Apr 6, 2020
Tim Anderson – CrossRoads Missions, Associate Director
Full-Time Employee
Nasha Ott – CrossRoads Missions, Financial Manager
Full-Time Employee
Samantha Lucero – Digital Promotions, Production Manager
Full-Time Employee
Asher Edmondson – Digital Promotions, Machine Operator
Full-Time Employee

About Our Name & Colors

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.

Contact Us

How You Can Help

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