Trumbull United Way Delivers Masks for Essential Employees

CORTLAND, Ohio – With much of the country focused on supporting first responders, the United Way of Trumbull County found a way to help essential employees. The United Way partnered with the Trumbull County Combined Health District and Dollar General to collect and distribute locally made face masks.

The first 50 were made by volunteers at Kinsman Presbyterian Church and dropped off at Ohio Living Lake Vista Thursday.

“It will benefit not only our employees, but also our residents,” said Lake Vista activity director Amy McCollum said. “Our current employees are wearing surgical masks, so these will complement and allow for the masks to last even longer.”

The masks are intended for employees working in long-term care facilities, stores and restaurants. Ginny Pasha, president of the United Way of Trumbull County, said the decision was made since first responders have open distribution lines for personal protective equipment.

“Those who are providing direct service certainly need a more professional-grade mask,” Pasha said. “These have been approved by the [Centers for Disease Control] and our health department has made us aware that these cloth masks will stop the spread by not allowing the droplets to get into the air.”

Beginning on Friday, 13 Dollar General stores throughout Trumbull County will act as donation sites for masks. The donations will be accepted through May 1.

Volunteers who can create or donate masks are asked to package them in groups of 10 and be placed in plastic or paper bags. The donated masks must follow CDC guidelines and will be taken at open registers. 

Participating are the eight stores in Warren, two in Niles and ones in Lordstown, Mineral Ridge and Newton Falls.

The United Way and the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency will also accept donations. Call 330 369 1000 to schedule an appointment to donate to the United Way. The agency is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“As we enter the next phase of our fight against COVID-19, it is imperative that we all do our part to reduce the spread of the virus in our communities,” said Trumbull County Health Commissioner Frank Migliozzi in a statement. “In addition to social distancing, another way that we can do that is by the wearing of face masks when out in public. By each of us making this one small effort, it can help reduce the threat of spreading the virus to those with whom we share a common area, such as in grocery stores and other places of business.”

Two weeks ago, the Trumbull County Health Department asked the United Way to coordinate the relationship between the volunteers and local agencies that needed the masks. The processes took approximately a week to organize.

“Now the attention turns to those that we all count on every day to give us our groceries or to provide service to us in some other way who absolutely need something like the masks to protect them and those who are in their store,” Pasha said.

To request the CDC-approved masks, essential employees or employers can call the United Way of Trumbull County at 330 369 1000 or email info@unitedwaytrumbull.org.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.