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For the Dutch Gold Honey company, it was a sticky situation.

The family-owned business—part of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania community since 1946—was allowed to operate as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. But when all employees were required to wear a face mask, Dutch Gold was in a difficult spot.

For the company, the safety of the employees was a primary concern. But commercially-manufactured masks were impossible to find.

Not knowing what else to do, on April 16, Jill Clark, Dutch Gold’s vice president of sales and marketing, sent an e-mail to MDS.

“I knew MDS had tons of requests, but I asked if they had enough masks to cover our most vulnerable employees,” Clark recalls. “Within a couple of hours, the MDS Lancaster Unit called to ask how many masks we needed.”

Less than 30 minutes later, Clark was picking up 60 masks and Dutch Gold was able to meet the state mandate.

“When did we think we’d ever be reaching out to our local disaster response organization?” Clark marvels about the help from MDS.

Many Dutch Gold employees have been working there for decades, she says, some of them remembering when the very first squeezable honey bear in the U.S. was “born” at the dinner table of company founders Ralph and Luella Gamber in 1957.

To show her gratitude, Clark brought four cases of the signature Dutch Gold honey bears to thank the volunteers who sewed the masks. In addition, Dutch Gold donated $1,000 USD to help MDS respond to future needs.

“We’ve always been concerned about taking care of the community,” says Nancy Gamber, Dutch Gold’s CEO. “We appreciate that MDS helped us protect our employees, and we want to pay it forward in the best way we know how.”

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