Although plans for the fall academic season are far from solidified, one thing is undoubtedly true: students, teachers and staff will be wearing masks when they return. JOANN fabric and craft stores are helping to prepare the nation’s most at-risk schools to get back safely with a new Masks for Schools program. With every pre-made protective face mask purchased from the chain, it will donate one to a school in need.
Masks for Schools piggybacks on the chain’s Make to Give DIY mask campaign, which has provided an estimated 200 million masks, as well as larger efforts to support hospitals and healthcare systems in partnership with Neiman Marcus and David’s Bridal.
“Masks will continue to be one of the most effective ways to mitigate the spread [of COVID-19] for the foreseeable future,” said Wade Miquelon, CEO and president of JOANN. “We realize that as schools – from preschools to universities – resume in-person classes, they will be in need of masks. We aim to continue the mission we set forth in March – to help mask and protect all, while supporting those on the frontlines, and regardless of any ability to pay.”
The chain will work with local, state and national agencies to get donations into the hands of schools most in need. JOANN’s longstanding partnership with Kids In Need Foundation will allow the company to help serve those most under-resourced with the protective equipment they may not be able to obtain otherwise.
“As schools across America prepare for the start of classes in just two-to-three months, we know there are many challenges,” said Corey Gordon, CEO of the Kids In Need Foundation. “We are thrilled that our longtime partner JOANN is playing such an active role in ensuring teachers can teach and learners can learn, in a safe and healthy environment.”
A variety of mask sizes will be donated to each school, so that those on campus can distribute them among staff, faculty and students as needed.
“The response has been incredible, and we know that more than ever, people are looking for ways to help,” said Miquelon. “We launched our free Make to Give mask effort to help them do that, and we want to continue empowering America to give to those in need. We know some of the nation’s most at-risk school districts are already looking for ways to protect their students and staff, and we’re proud to be able to start contributing now.”