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Cleveland Browns, Northeast Ohio communities pitch in to help University Hospitals reach 100,000 mask goal

The hospital was able to reach their goal in less than one month.

CLEVELAND — Last night the Browns killed it in the NFL draft. Today, they helped save lives.

The Browns’ seamstress, Becky Zielinski, forged the way along with the help of a local group, Mask Making Miracles, to sew together more than 3,000 masks to be donated to University Hospitals.

Just a few weeks ago UH sent out a request asking anyone with nimble fingers and a little extra time on their hands to sew some masks together for their employees. The goal was large: 100,000 donations to be exact. Today, with the help of the Cleveland Browns, Mask Making Miracles, and Northeast Ohioans, they reached their goal. Players and team staff helped out in anyway that they could, even cutting the fabric for the people sewing.

“We are overwhelmed and grateful for the response we received,” said Dr. Randy Jernejcic, Vice President of Clinical Integration at University Hospitals. “Whether one volunteer sewed 10 masks or a group of volunteers donated thousands, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every person who gave their time and talents to this cause.”

Along with the masks, UH also asked for handwritten notes that could be distributed to employees and caregivers within their hospitals.

One 8th grade student, Abbey, contributed to the campaign writing “I wanted to say thank you for everything you’re doing. There are so many people that are sick and scared and it’s really helping to know that there are people like you trying to help keep everyone safe and healthy.”

Browns staff also sent along notes of encouragement with the mask donation.

"I can't imagine being in their shoes,” said Rich Hanchette, Browns Motion Graphic Artist, “It was the least I could do to spread some love.”

University Hospitals say they are still accepting donations, but encourage anyone who would like to help out to follow their specific designs.

More information on how to help can be found here.

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