Our world is changing. Quickly.
But even as coronavirus lockdown restrictions lift, we all have to keep doing what it takes to keep each other safe – and one of those things is continuing to wear a face mask when we go outside.
The problem is, masks aren’t always easy to get. Since everyone wants them, supplies are scarce. Stores are sold out and online orders can take weeks to fill. We’ve heard from people who haven’t left their homes in months because they don’t have a mask.
We’re on a mission to change that.
Sparkt is teaming up with some amazing partners for Mission: 10K Masks, an ambitous effort to distribute over 10,000 face masks to people in the Pittsburgh area who need them. And we’ll do it in a week.
Mission: 10K Masks wouldn’t have come together so quickly without the generous support of our partners, attorneys Julian Gray from Julian Gray Associates and Eric Chaffin from Chaffin-Luhana.
Both Gray and Chaffin have joined us for previous Sparkt missions and they’re no strangers to making a difference.
“We at Julian Gray Associates work with the elderly and their families; a segment of society hardest hit by the coronavirus,” said Julian Gray. “We realize how important it is for families to maintain contact and try to operate as normally as possible during this time, so the ability to provide free face masks to those who need them furthers our mission.”
Eric Chaffin worked with us on the 10,000 Sandwiches campaign in March that they’ve since taken nationally. He immediately jumped on board to help get masks to as many people as possible.
“We are excited to continue our COVID-19 relief efforts in Pittsburgh with Sparkt by preparing people of all ages–including kids and the elderly in particular–with masks so they can begin to return to the ‘new normal’ public life that we all face,” Chaffin said. “The masks are an important first step in helping Pittsburghers ensure that they and their families are protected in public.”
We’ll also be partnering with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, which has been on the forefront of making sure folks in our area have enough food during this pandemic. Now, they’ll be helping us make sure people at their food distribution events get face masks, too.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has been holding weekly mass food distribution events during the pandemic.GPCFB Facebook
Also on board: seven independent Meals on Wheels groups in Allegheny County whose volunteers have been working tirelessly throughout the crisis to deliver lunches and dinners to our elderly neighbors.
Meals on Wheels will be distributing masks to seniors along with their meals. Unsplash
Bob Montgomery at the McKnight chapter in Ross Township said, “That would be wonderful!” when we asked if they would help us by delivering masks with their meals. All our Meals on Wheels Partners were especially happy that we also had masks for their volunteers, many of whom are senior citizens themselves.
We’ll also be teaming up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA, another group of helpers who have been working hard to keep our communities healthy.
While the organization’s Clubhouses have been closed to the public during the pandemic, the B&GC staff has continued to provide various relief efforts like delivering food and passing out cleaning and hygiene supplies to families in need. Now, they’re teaming up with Sparkt to pass out face masks at their distribution events.
The Boys & Girls Clubs are teaming up with Sparkt to pass on free face masks at their upcoming events. Boys & Girls Club Of Western PA/Facebook
“With more than 40,000 children living on or below the poverty line in Allegheny County alone, we need as much support from the community as possible,” said Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, President and CEO of BGCWPA.
So, now you’re wondering: how can I get free masks? Every day for a week, starting Friday, we’ll be giving away masks somewhere in the Pittsburgh area. Check back here at Sparkt.com each day to find out where we’ll be and where you can go if you need masks.
Also check back as we share the stories of your friends and neighbors we meet along the way, how they’re coping, and how their lives have been touched by Mission: 10K Masks.
We hope you’ll join us as we work together to keep Pittsburgh safe as we find our ‘new’ normal. We can all make a difference. Take it from us at Sparkt. It’s what we do.