#Masks4Chi is a grassroots movement whose sole goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our Chicagoland community. We have a simple message. Adhere to the CDC recommendations of:
1. Social distancing
2. Hand washing
3. Avoiding contact with your face, and
4. Wearing non-medical grade masks in public.
The first three guidelines have been extensively covered in the media. Wearing masks in public, however, is a new concept in our society. Our goal is to make masks widely available through partnerships with large scale manufacturers and businesses around Chicago.
Our first initiative will be to distribute 25,000 masks to 50 locally-owned restaurants around the city. Since it would be counterproductive for people to congregate in one location to pick up masks, local restaurants are the best option for distribution with great safety protocols already in place. Local restaurants will be handing out two masks per customer, free of charge, with every to-go order.
In addition, we are also partnering with the media and local businesses to properly educate the public on the wearing, handling, and cleaning of these masks.
For phase two of our initiative, #Masks4Chi hopes to partner with organizations across Chicagoland to acquire up to 350,000 masks. These will be distributed through state and city programs, homeless shelters and the public school emergency meal service.
Finally, the idea for Masks4Chi was developed by the team at MonAmi Jewelry. Like other small businesses who closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at MonAmi Jewelry wanted to do something to make a difference in flattening the curve, saving lives, and helping Chicagoland recover from the pandemic. They were inspired by the work being done by Masks4Jax and decided to do something similar for Chicago. In the span of one week, the team got the Masks4Chi organization up and running and also placed our first order of 25,000 cloth masks expected to arrive the week of April 20th. Now we are furiously working to ramp up our ability to procure an additional 325,000 masks within a few weeks.
We are grateful for the support of the Chicagoland community in getting this initiative off the ground. Special thanks to MonAmi Jewelry and MonAmi Realty for their initial financial support and to Masks4Jax and The Connect Agency for their insight and guidance!!