Brenda Alvarez, left, Lorena Dimas and Patty Vasquez of the Litchfield Elementary School District Food Service Department sport masks made by HOT Community Foundation.
Helping Others Together (HOT) Community Foundation, a West Valley nonprofit that raises funds for local charities, has amassed a small army of volunteers who will make and donate at least 10,000 washable, reusable masks to local hospitals, medical personnel, first responders, school districts, essential businesses and others who need them.
After reaching out to local nurses and getting a feel for how much need there was for masks here, Ms. McGee decided to get HOT involved.
The women developed a plan to make 500 masks, and began reaching out for volunteers via social media. The page went live March 22, the first requests for masks came in the following day, and the number of donations and volunteers has grown steadily, along with the organization’s mask goal.
As of April 15, an 18-member volunteer production team was assembling mask kits for 78 mask-sewers. Nearly 6,000 masks had been completed or were in progress, and 3,770 had been distributed.
“We will exceed 10,000 is my estimate,” Ms. McGee said.
More than half of the masks distributed as of April 15 went to healthcare workers, with the remainder going to essential organizations and businesses, other businesses and community members.
Litchfield Elementary School District is an essential organization that received masks for Food Services Department personnel who make and distribute more than 4,000 breakfasts and lunches to children every weekday.
Chef Ronald Beck, LESD Food Services director, said his staff is grateful for the masks.
"Our A-rated district relies on the community to help us provide educational excellence. HOT Community Foundation has come through for us at a crucial time,” Mr. Beck said. “The mask-sewers have been working as hard as our meal preparers. Their generosity is helping us keep our staff members and our community's children healthy. Face masks are like gold right now and we feel like we hit the jackpot!"
Ms. McGee said the organizations is overwhelmed at the response from volunteers and mask recipients.
“It’s pretty emotional for all of us,” she said.
-excerpts from Buckeye Independent Publication