DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- The Dayton Sewing Collaborative‘s Mask Up Dayton project is providing more than 8,000 masks across the city. But with the new mask mandate in city limits the organization is in need of more donations and more volunteers.
The project started as an initiative to provide masks to healthcare workers for free. But as demand grew, more initiatives were developed. The Mask Up Dayton-West Dayton initiative is being led by Chalance Williams, owner of The Sleeve Man store and member of Dayton Young Black Professionals. He brought together the two organizations and volunteered his own business resources to continue the cause.
“We wanted to figure out what we could do to get more masks to the people who have the greatest need,” Williams explained.
Williams typically sets up a table on Williams Street in West Dayton to pass out free masks. But for those who cannot travel, he also will mail or deliver.
“We’ve had people volunteer to drive [the masks] around delivering them at bus hubs, giving them to homeless people, giving them to people in need on the streets. That’s really important,” he said.
Williams says the organizations provide mask-making kits for anyone who is interested in helping. The easy-to-use kits can be picked up at the Goodwill Easter Seals building on Saturdays.
“The kits include elastic, instructions, and fabric materials for people to make masks. You drive up take one or two kits, [you] don’t have to get out of [your] car. Then the next week, they bring them back ready to be distributed,” explained Williams.
Sunday, during the inaugural Wright-Dunbar day, the group is planning to give away 200 masks in West Dayton. Williams says he’s not going to stop working until the need for masks is completely filled.
“As long as we have volunteers out there donating materials, and as long as we have people making the mask, I’ll be available,” he said.
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