WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Ram’s Clothiers on Wolcott Street is closed because of the coronavirus, but business is still brisk because they are making and donating face masks for community members to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Every weekday, you’ll find a line of cars wrapped around the parking lot filled with drivers taking advantage of the store’s generosity and heart.
The tailor, Valbona Hysolli, is volunteering her time to sew together face masks from fabric in the store. Then, the owner, Dave Ramchandani and his son steam the masks before going outside in the parking lot and passing them out to whoever comes by.
They’ve been doing this for a week and in that time word has spread. More than 1,000 free masks have been given out to a grateful public.
“It’s very important to me. My life depends on it per se,” said Jim Keeley, a driver for Meals on Wheels in Waterbury. “We get close to people delivering meals. So, we have to make sure that we’re taking precautions to protect ourselves, also protecting the clients we’re delivering food to.”
“I’m a diabetic and I have heart problems,” said Waterbury resident, Joseph Gelada. “I’m one of the candidates that’s more susceptible…I think these guys are doing a great job.”
The owner of Ram’s says he’s doing this to take care of the community that’s taken care of his family for 40 years. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soaring and the number of COVID-19-related deaths in Waterbury, he knew he wanted to do something to help out while his store is temporarily closed.
“We just wanted to keep ourselves busy,” he said. “Try to do something to give back to the community.”
Ram’s Clothiers is on Wolcott Street. They usually start handing out masks at 3 p.m. They’re also saving some for first-responders and hospital workers.
In order to keep producing the masks, they say they need donations of elastic. They haven’t had any luck finding any on their own so they’re asking for help.