With high school football and its usual summer practices delayed, some Woodrow Wilson High School teammates found a new purpose helping those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
Back in April, Dallas-based custom printing shop, The Odee Company began producing disposable plastic gowns.
“We had a doctor from one of the large hospitals here in Dallas reach out to us,” said co-owner Travis Stein.
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It was part of the growing need for PPE.
Within just a couple of weeks, Stein and his two partners had shifted production and hired 85 additional employees to churn out 50,000 a day.
Among them, were 11 teen football players with some extra time on their hands.
As a former player himself, Stein knew they’d get the job done.
“I knew the discipline, the integrity, the work ethic these kids would have, so I reached out to the Woodrow Coach,” said Stein.
“I just thought it would be fun working with my teammates from school because we weren’t really working out,” said incoming junior Francisco Nava.
Nava along with junior Carlos Calhoun and senior Maximiliano Mavarrete helped to place and adjust the 500-pound rolls of plastic needed for cutting gowns.
“If they don’t have gowns then how are they going to get their job done,” said Mavarrete.
What started as a paycheck and, perhaps, distraction during a difficult time became a purpose.
“I was proud of what we were doing. It was like how are teenage football players helping out the country and the city and every doctor in the world,” said Nava.
“They were telling their family members that they weren’t going to work. They were going to save lives,” said Stein.
Since April, The Odee Company has produced two and a half million gown for those on the front lines.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.