At a press conference Monday, Boys and Girls Club CEO was joined by community leaders to announce plans to distribute 30,000 donated face masks to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We want to make sure that low-income families, families of color take advantage of these opportunities,” Johnson said.
The masks include 15,000 high-quality cloth masks donated by Las Vegas-based health and wellness company Boomer Naturals, which just announced its donation Friday, and 15,000 surgical masks donated by Metcalfe’s Markets.
“We’re concerned that maybe there’s some in our community that don’t have access to masks” to comply with Dane County’s order requiring masks in all indoor spaces other than the home, which went into effect Monday, Tim Metcalfe said. Metcalfe’s has also contributed to previous mask donations.
“It’s in our DNA to give back to the community,” said Jake Quaid, the company’s vice president of business development, who traveled to Madison for the announcement. “We’re a health and wellness company, so it’s important to us for everyone to be healthy and well.”
Johnson said distribution would begin Monday. Some of those distribution plans include:
- 5,000 masks to Boys and Girls Clubs members and their families.
- 1,500 masks to Madison Metropolitan School District
- 1,500 masks to daycares
- 1,500 masks to community members through club locations
- 4,000 masks to people getting tested at free pop-up COVID testing sites
- 500 masks to each of several to grassroots community leaders
- 500 masks to Madison Police Department
“This kind and generous donation will be going to our staff and our students, as they are looking at coming back to the school year in September,” said MMSD Chief of High Schools Mike Hernandez. “During this time of uncertainty, it is very comforting to know that we have partners that are willing to step up and take care of our babies. Funds are tough right now as we spent the last 13 weeks of the school year trying to figure out the best way to take care of our staff and our students. These masks, it’s an amazing donation because these masks are one more step to try to bring back some normalcy for our students and our staff.”
FOSTER founder and therapist Jacquelyn Hunt said the donations will go a long way, but there will always be a need for more support.
“We need to take this pandemic seriously,” she said. “I’m going to say this from the perspective of a mom who is marginalized, who may be transient right now and living in a car or living in a hotel, you can give them a mask today, but the challenges that they’re facing with housing and even just basic needs may make it a little more difficult for them to keep up with the masks. This is not a one and done. I really do appreciate Michael and his trust in me and belief that I’ll get these masks into the hands and the homes of those who could benefit from having them the most, but we still need more support. So keep the masks coming. Keep getting them into the hands of those who need them the most and those who can help spread them out throughout our community and have the most impact.”
Johnson said the masks given to MPD might be used by police officers, who are required by department policy to wear masks when dealing with members of the public, or might be given to members of the public whom officers encounter.