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Mask collection for kids brings together businesses and United Way of Blount County

United Way of Blount County teamed up with small business owners to purchase hundreds of masks for kids.
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 8:12 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - United Way of Blount County teamed up with small business owners to purchase hundreds of masks for kids.

”It started with just the request from one school,” explained Joanna Tinker. “But that kind of kicked off the idea that all of our local schools are starting back and all of them are going to need masks for their children that are going to be in-person.”

Tinker and her family have a few stores around Maryville. They wanted to make a difference for kids getting back in the classroom this fall.

“They are going to order the masks, but we are the vessel for the fundraising efforts,” said Wendy Wand.

Wand is the Vice President of the United Way of Blount County.

She said the Tinkers have offered to help facilitate this project.

The masks won’t come from them, but they are figuring out where to best order them.

“Which the bulk pricing actually makes it cheaper than what you can buy at any of the major box retail stores right now for reusable masks,” explained Wand.

The goal is to raise $1,500 and purchase 850 masks for young students.

“To be able to respond this quickly is exactly what we do,” said Wand.

Principals at Blount County Schools, Alcoa City Schools, and Maryville City Schools can get in on getting some for their students.

“Rather than just do an effort to benefit one school we thought lets make it broader, let’s make the reach greater and see how many kids in our community we can help,” said Tinker.

This way kids can learn in a classroom and do so safely.

“I think this is a fantastic way for the community to support back to school needs when we’re all still social distancing and we’re all probably a little anxious about what back to school even looks like,” said Wand.

Donations are being collected until Sunday. You can go here to donate.

If you wish to drop off masks you’ve made for kids you can do so at a box outside of the United Way of Blount County located at 1516 East Broadway Avenue in Maryville.

Masks must be sanitized and placed in clear plastic bags.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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