Although plans for the 2020 autumn academic season are far from solidified, one thing is undoubtedly true: students, teachers and staff will likely be wearing masks when they return. JOANN Stores, the USA’s largest retailer of fabric and crafts, is helping to prepare the nation’s most at-risk schools to get back safely with a new Masks for Schools programme. With every pre-made protective facemask purchased from the chain, it will donate one to a US school in need.
“We have been on a mission to protect Americans by way of cloth masks since the onset of this pandemic, and masks will continue to be one of the most effective ways to mitigate the spread for the foreseeable future,” said Wade Miquelon, CEO & President of JOANN. “We realise 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.”
This new effort comes as JOANN’s “Make to Give” DIY mask campaign has reached an incredible milestone, providing an estimated 200 million masks to Americans by way of store and corporate donations, and customer mask-making purchases. Larger coordinated efforts to support hospitals and healthcare systems have included JOANN’s partnerships with Neiman Marcus and David’s Bridal.
“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.”
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 KINF. “We are thrilled that our longtime partner JOANN – which donates millions of dollars in crafts and materials every year to underserved teachers and students nationwide – is playing such an active role in ensuring teachers can teach and learners can learn, in a safe and healthy environment.”