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Local organizations join forces to secure 100,000 + N-95 masks front-line workers in Cleveland

Learn how public, private & religious groups worked together to help protect Cleveland front line workers.

CLEVELAND — When the leaders at the Cleveland Foundation & Oswald Companies learned of the shortage of N-95 masks in Cleveland, they sprang into action. Nancy Mendez with the Greater Cleveland United Way says the growing need was obvious.

“Like many of us, they saw that there was a shortage of masks for individuals on the front lines providing essential services and they wanted to come up with a solution,” says Mendez.

They got private and public organizations together and worked to secure 100,000 N-95 masks! Then the baton was handed to MedWish to manage the logistics of the large order. Carolina Masri, the Executive Director of MedWish says it was an honor to contribute to the project.

“Our trained staff worked very hard to coordinate the arrival of the masks, the sorting process and the distribution,” says Masri.

Over the last few weeks, the Greater Cleveland United Way made sure masks were given to essential front-line workers at shelters, police departments, medical staff and nonprofits that have food pantries, like the May Dugan Center. We asked Rick Kemm, the Executive Director of the May Dugan Center what kind of impact the masks had.

“It was really wonderful to know that we were going to receive these masks so that we would be safe and continue to provide a service in a safe environment to our clients,” says Kemm.

A group effort to make sure front-line workers are safe.

“We were able to bring in over 100,000 masks that again helped over 100 organizations. One organization alone would not have been able to have that impact,” says Mendez.

The collaboration brought together the Catholic Diocese, Jewish Federation, United Way, MedWish, and more to protect and serve Clevelanders.

“This has been a beautiful demonstration of love and it shows that we are all in this together,” says Masri.

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