Member Story – Kim Hayes


Making Masks and Fulfilling our Purpose.

Kim Hayes is going “all in” during the coronavirus pandemic and, with the help of her family, she’s making a difference by making much-needed masks.

“We’re facing a real shortage of protective equipment at the prison where I work, and I’m responding to that need,” Kim says. “I delivered my first 250 masks in five days, and I’m already making more.”

Kim works as a dental assistant at the California Institute for Men in Chino—she’s been a state worker for 16 years—but her superpower is being a seamstress. “Sewing is a dying art, and I’m pleased to put my skills to work for something so important,” Kim said.

Given the fact that her sewing talents are well-known, Kim got a call from management after the virus altered working conditions in the prison. “I’m working a modified schedule, spending most of that time on masks,” she says. “But I’m also sewing on my regular days off, too.”

Mask production is a Hayes family affair. Kim is joined by her husband, son, and daughter-in law. “We have two sewing machines going all the time.” But it’s been a challenge securing supplies to make the masks. “Fabric stores are non-essential retailers, so I’m using alternate sources like variety retails who are still open, and eBay.”

Even more compelling is the fact that Kim’s son Brandon Hayes is a correctional officer who also works at CIM/Chino, and they’re making masks for his colleagues.

“We’re making masks for the COs out of donated uniforms,” said Kim, “so that the green masks match their uniforms.”

Kim is one of many dozens of Local 1000 members who are sewing masks. For other members interested in helping, Local 1000 is distributing boxes filled with enough materials to make upwards of 100 masks. Volunteers can decide where to donate their masks, whether that might be to their worksite or to a local health care organization.

“Kim Hayes and her fellow members are living the Local 1000 Purpose Statement,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 President. “She is stepping into her leadership and stepping up for her fellow Californians at a critical time.”