To help meet the increasing demand for face coverings, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation and other community partners are coordinating a no-contact, drive-up distribution of 20,000 non-surgical cloth masks on Thursday, May 28 from 4-6 p.m. at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena and Shepherd High School.
The masks were created by Logos Galore, says Amanda Schafer, executive director of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation. They are single-ply, breathable, and have earhole slots that provide a customized fit.
“The idea for the mask giveaway was inspired by an event hosted in Saginaw County on May 13,” says Schafer. “WNEM TV5 and Saginaw Community Foundation distributed approximately 30,000 masks at four locations throughout Saginaw County in just two hours.”
People drove from outside Saginaw County – even from Isabella County – to receive a mask during that giveaway.
“That confirmed for us that there was most certainly a need,” Schafer says. “Helen Lee from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at CMU contacted our Program Officer, Jaimie Capen-Cascaddan, about grant funding to do something similar here in Isabella County. At the same time, community members were reaching out to me offering to help provide financial support to our COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Isabella County if we could put together an event like this.”
From that point on, the Isabella County giveaway took on a life of its own, and quickly turned into a reality. Among the quick-acting parties involved were Central Michigan University and Shepherd Public Schools who agreed to have the event on their campuses, Mid-Central Area Health Education Center who partnered to help spread information about proper mask use, and people who volunteered to distribute the masks.
“I have been so impressed by the willingness of local community members to work together, and to put together something so quickly that also makes safety a priority,” says Schafer.
Upon arriving at either location for the mask distribution, drivers are asked to remain in their vehicle. They can either pop the trunk or roll down the window to receive masks for their household.
“If there are people in our community who want a face covering, we can meet that need,” says Schafer. “With so much devastation from the pandemic and now the flooding in nearby communities, Thursday’s mask giveaway is something simple and positive we can do to help one another.
To support relief efforts like this in Isabella County, contributions can be made to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Isabella County.