SEATTLE and BELLEVUE, Washington, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One million masks are being donated to 5,427 child care and youth programs throughout Washington State as part of the Millions of Masks for Children Initiative, a growing nationwide effort to help protect millions of children from COVID-19. The masks will be delivered to Child Care Aware of Washington, School's Out Washington (including Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA), Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, Head Start Program, and the Kent Community Partners. In addition, masks will be delivered to children in migrant, refugee and tribal communities via the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and the Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees.
The Millions of Masks for Children Initiative is the brainchild of Trang Le, a volunteer with international aid group SmartAID, and Shachar Zahavi, founder and CEO of SmartAID. "I believe that helping keep children safe during the pandemic is an important mission. By supporting child care organizations, we're providing the support that parents and families need to be able to focus on getting back to work during this chaotic time," said Le who is also a volunteer with Restart Partners.
According to Zahavi, nearly 280,000 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since March 2020. "At SmartAID our core mission is to harness the power of innovation, data and technology, and our extensive network of partners to save lives, alleviate suffering and empower communities to live the kind of life they value. It's absolutely critical to protect children from COVID-19 by providing masks. Washington State is just the start," said Zahavi.
This delivery of masks to children in Washington is being made possible by FLTR, a leading supplier of a wide range of personal protective equipment (PPE), which donated the one million masks, and DHL, the world's leading logistics company, which donated logistics and delivery services. SEKO Logistics donated warehousing services.
"We are very grateful to Millions of Masks for Children and these organizations for taking action to meet the needs of Washington's child care providers and the children and families they serve. This extremely generous donation of a million child-size face masks will help keep everyone in our state safer, from our essential child care providers to the families of children in their care," said Deeann Burtch Puffert, chief executive officer of Child Care Aware of Washington.
"FLTR is a mission-driven organization led by a seasoned team of manufacturing, supply chain and retail veterans that's been on the front lines of the COVID battle since early March. Our purpose is to ensure widespread availability of critically needed PPE to health care workers and consumers alike. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were in a strong position to make a difference and immediately pivoted our existing organization to provide a reliable source of N95 respirators and other PPE at scale," said Jason Lemelson, CEO of FLTR. "We were fortunate to connect with Trang Le and Shachar Zahavi with Millions of Masks for Children and quickly realized our partnership could create immediate impact in Washington state and beyond. We believe this initial donation is the start of something much larger and look forward to continuing to help in any way we can." In addition to the one million masks that FLTR is donating to children's organizations, the company is donating an additional 135,000 masks to Children's Hospital, University of Washington Medicine, and the State of Washington.
Greg Hewitt, CEO, DHL Express U.S. said, "During this pandemic, we have offered our resources to help deliver protective personal equipment to communities where it is needed most, including to medical professionals and first responders. At DHL, we are pleased to leverage our extensive global network to provide support that connects people and improves lives, and are grateful to our wonderful employees who have continued to work during these difficult times and enable us to help others in need."
In addition to FLTR, SmartAID, DHL, and SEKO Logistics, several other organizations including the City of Kent and the Showare Center are helping with this project.
Learn more about how you can get involved in helping support Millions of Masks for Children at www.fltr.com/giving-back.
The Millions of Masks for Children Initiative is focused on providing face masks to children to protect them from COVID-19. Started in Washington State, the Millions of Masks for Children Initiative is expanding its reach to include additional children across the U.S. in an effort to help the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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SOURCE Millions of Masks for Children