The news of a global, highly infectious virus was making its first appearance on the central news station in the United States of America. As manufacturers of hospital-grade disinfecting wipes, the Kryshak family reacted to the growing pandemic proactively. Thaddeus, the son of Michael and Loretta Kryshak, served as an engineer in the family business. In analyzing the creation of their wipes, Thaddeus noted that the same material used in their wipes is the material used to create the N95 masks. This revelation prompted Thaddeus to consult with his father, Mike, and petition to use their material and expertise to reconstruct their wipes into a disposable, surgical-style mask.
The Kryshak family undeniably pursues outstanding quality, pride in their product, and a heightened sense of leadership and civic responsibility regarding their Saukville-based company, Rebel Reform, and their family values. Those values became ever apparent in the company’s proceeds and the reactions of all family members to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rebel Reform packaged mask-making kits and called on volunteers to assist with the assembly when the design was perfected. There were hundreds of the fabric squares, over one thousand rubber bands, and instructions; Loretta recalled that it took about 90,000 hours for the 6,000 kits to be completed. The goodwill of many Milwaukee companies and individuals was astounding and awe-inspiring.
Campaigning and distributing the masks was the next task for Rebel Reform to conquer. Amidst the thousands of requests and phone calls, distributing to low-income and homeless communities, and creating the #MaskUpMKE social initiative, the Kryshak family and Rebel Reform made a profound impact on their community. Their achievements include distributing masks to medical professionals and low-income communities, mask and food deliveries to churches, homeless shelters, and communities in need, and at least masks were for public transit services in the Milwaukee area. This wouldn’t have been possible without the community and their support.
The Kryshak family will continue to advocate for and support social justice causes through their, deeming themselves “Rebels With a Cause.” The pursuit of health safety and community outreach will remain at the forefront of these heroes’ minds.