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United Way distributes thousands of masks to nonprofits, first responders

SALISBURY — The Rowan County United Way on Friday distributed 12,814 masks to 52 organizations as part of its COVID-19 Relief efforts.

The masks were provided to the United Way through a $60,000 anonymous donation that purchased 25,000 masks from Parkdale Mills. The remaining masks will either be sold by businesses to benefit the COVID-19 Relief Fund, provided to organizations who still need them or kept in the event that there’s a spike in the coronavirus later, said Executive Director Jenny Lee.

“United Way was so fortunate to receive the grant to support the purchase of 25,000 facemasks, especially now as our state moves into Phase 2 of reopening,” Lee said. “It is vital that we all take the appropriate steps to keep ourselves and others safe. Having resources such as the facemasks in addition to our relief fund to distribute to surrounding organizations is key to our community’s overall overall health and well-being.”

Masks on Friday mostly were given to nonprofits and first responders, with the Salisbury Police Department also receiving a supply to bring to Brenner Crossing and Zion Hills Apartments as well as residents on Lafayette Street.

Lee says the white cotton masks can be washed around 15 times and still hold up their usefulness.

She said Hoff’s Grill on West Innes Street is handing the masks out to customers and asking for donations to go toward the fund. The Salisbury Post plans to do the same.

Nonprofits who still need them should call or contact the United Way to receive a supply.

So far, the Rowan County United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has generated $211,639.20 to help with needs that include food insecurity, medical expenses and housing needs as well as disruptions in business for nonprofits.

The United Way has given out roughly $64,000 to 501(c)(3)s based in Rowan County, including $10,000 given by the Wallace and Graham law firm and earmarked for Rowan Helping Ministries.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so at rowanunitedway.org, text the word “RELIEF” to 704-286-1011 or mail a contribution to the United Way at 131 West Innes St., Suite 201, Salisbury, N.C. 28144. Those mailing donations should address them to the attention of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Those making a donation online should include a note in the comment section saying it’s for the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Nonprofits can obtain more information about applying by visiting rowanunitedway.org or calling the office at 704-633-1802.

The most recent donations are as follows:

• Rick and Kathey Teague-McCollister, $100, donated in honor of all the Rowan-Salisbury 2020 graduates.
• Rod and Rita Crider, $300
• Brenda Avery, $80
• Patricia Roos, $500
• John and Joy Fisher, $500
• Edward and Susan Norvell, $200

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