SAN MARCOS — New York-based nonprofit organization United We Mask will donate hundreds of DIY mask-making kits and children’s books to the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos today, noting schools reopening and a subsequent rise in COVID-19 cases among school-age children.
The mask kits are intended to give children a sense of ownership of making their own masks, and the books — “Smiling from Ear To Ear” by Kaitlyn Chu — are intended to teach younger children the importance of personal protective equipment.
“We are so grateful for the wonderful partnership with United We Mask. The kids are so excited to receive and create their own masks and even more excited to wear them,” said Lauren Garrido, communications and marketing coordinator for The Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos.
The DIY kits offer a sustainable alternative to disposable masks. United We Mask has partnered with Verloop, Fabscrap and Minted, who are all providing upcycled, no-waste, sustainable materials for the kits.
Other Boys & Girls Clubs receiving similar donations include those in Cathedral City, Malibu, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Fontana, Whittier, Santa Clarita and Hawaii. The organization will donate 10,000 kits total.
“With over 129 billion masks being used globally, we at United We Mask are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs to provide sustainable and reusable masks,” said Jennifer Lee, CEO and founder of United We Mask. “When children are offered a unique opportunity to make their own masks, they take their self-made product as a point of pride and are more likely to wear it, increasing PPE compliance and offering a sustainable solution.”
United We Mask was founded by Lee in the spring in New York City. She said her goal with the former sewing collective is to encourage sound public health practices and make PPE more accessible for healthcare, home healthcare and essential workers, vulnerable populations, and underserved communities.
Since the pandemic outbreak, United We Mask has provided over 10,000 handmade masks to communities, leaving N95 masks for those at higher risk of COVID exposure.