The Community Mask Campaign is winding down, after raising $21,000 for homeless shelters and food banks.
An additional $12,000 matching grant for the same causes has been donated to the United Way by the Humeniuk Foundation.
Boot, one of the volunteer mask campaign organizers, set up a mask tree near the Old Town post office Saturday and Sunday afternoon, from noon until 4 p.m., and sold about 40 masks each day, in a space provided by a store owner.
The streets were busy, says Boot, but not so busy so as to make physical distancing a problem — it was good to see people out, enjoying the fresh air and a walk on the main street. Some stores are requiring masks for shoppers, she added.
The group is asking for a donation of $10 to $20 for their masks, and recently made a donation of $12,000 to Niagara homeless shelters for adults and youth, and to the Community Care food bank in St. Catharines.
Encouraged by the enthusiasm of new and continuing volunteers, they have now raised another $9,000, and are hoping to find a matching grant for the second phase of their campaign, says Boot.
She says special mention must go to Laurie, who lives in Welland. The local volunteers have never met her in person, and are grateful for the 940 masks she sewed, some of which were part of their initial campaign for frontline workers, to whom the group gave more than 4,700 masks, before turning their attention to the growing need in the community, as more and more residents choose to wear masks in public.
Volunteers will be out again this Saturday, June 20, at Mori Gardens and at their sidewalk site in Old Town near the post office at Victoria Street.
Masks will also be available “by appointment or by chance,” says Boot, at 2252 Four Mile Creek Road.