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United Way engineers donation of 55,000 face masks

A coronavirus prevention effort promoted by United Way Worldwide and coordinated locally by Lenoir-Greene United Way is providing 55,000 washable face masks for the students, teachers and staff of Lenoir County Public Schools.

 Four people -- two men and two women -- pose against a white wall wearing face masks. The donation is the result of America’s Mask Challenge, on which United Way Worldwide is partnering with the Business Roundtable and CDC Foundation to get 200 million face masks into the 56,000 schools nationwide that receive federal Title I funding.

“We’re involved because we know our local community and are able to make sure the connection happened between the distributor and the school system,” Molly Taylor, executive director of Lenoir-Greene United Way, said. “We made sure the school system was aware of the donation and helped navigate getting it here.”

The donation translates into more than five face masks for all students and staff at the 16 Title I schools in the district. The donated face masks will add to LCPS’s store of coronavirus-related supplies acquired through federal funding sources and local contributions and will be parceled out to the schools for distribution, according to Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II.

“We are grateful for our unwavering partnership with the Lenoir-Greene United Way. The donation of these masks strengthens our opportunity to provide face covering for all of our students and staff at no cost to our families or the schools,” said Harvey, who as the district’s operations director coordinates the acquisition and distribution of health and safety items.

Students and all LCPS personnel are required to wear face masks when they are at school. About 60 percent of the district’s students are attending in-person classes either two or four days a week.

Hanes produced the donated masks and coordinated with United Way on delivery. Hanes also donated 25 million masks to the Challenge. 

“On behalf of our school system, I would like to thank United Way Executive Director Molly Taylor for her leadership and tireless advocacy for Lenoir County Public Schools and our entire community in making this and other support initiatives a reality,” LCPS Superintendent Brent Williams said. 

“We appreciate very much this generous investment in the continued safety of our students and staff members by United Way Worldwide, the Business Roundtable and the CDC Foundation working together for America’s Mask Challenge and the sponsoring corporation, Hanes Brands.”

Photo caption:

Masked up with a few of the 55,000 washable face masks donated to Lenoir County Public Schools through America’s Mask Challenge are, from left, Associate Superintendent Frances Herring, Superintendent Brent Williams, Lenoir-Greene United Way Executive Director Molly Taylor and Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II. Lenoir-Greene United Way provided local coordination for the national campaign, a partnership of United Way Worldwide, the Business Roundtable and the CDC Foundation.