From waving them on to saving their health

Homer Hankies being converted into masks

WCCO Radio Newsroom
April 19, 2020 - 10:11 am

The Twins' short-lived 2019 playoff run left a lot of Homer Hankies boxed up for the winter.

Now, the red terrycloth towels are back, with a different purpose.

And front-line workers in the coronavirus outbreak are the ones benefitting.

Production is underway to convert the surplus 2019 Homer Hankies into masks that will be given to health care professionals, grocery store workers, and other nonprofits who are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“When waved together by 50,000 people, the Homer Hanky is a symbol of the unity, respect and passion that define us as Minnesotans – the same traits that will see our state through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Nancy O’Brien, Twins Vice President of Community Engagement. “We are beyond grateful to partner with Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon to transform otherwise unused stock of this iconic item into essential, protective material for those who are bravely and selflessly working to help us all during this pandemic.”

Named Homer Hankies as a nod to the thin, white pieces of cloth waved by Twins fans in past postseasons, the 2019 version that touts the Twins' record-setting "Bomba Squad" was created by Winona-based Wincraft.

Love Your Melon is providing polypropylene surgical wrap material and elastic to Faribault Woolen Mills, whose teams transform the Homer Hankies into lined, protective face masks.

The Homer Hanky is on the outer side of the mask and surgical wrap material is the lining

The generosity of spirit shown during the COVID-19 crisis reminds us once again that we have such an incredible community here in Minnesota,” said Paul Grangaard, Chairman & CEO of Faribault Woolen Mill Co. 

The cutting and sewing turns one Homer Hanky into no fewer than five masks, and will not be for sale to the general public.

“In recent weeks, we have been able to leverage our domestic manufacturing partners to create protective face masks for children battling cancer and their families as well as the medical community," said Zachary Quinn, Co-CEO of Love Your Melon. "Our efforts have not stopped there, and this collaboration is an extension of that.

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