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PoPNB Back to School Mask Drive
High quality free respirators provided to those who need them
Last fall, PoPNB crowdfunded for and purchased five-hundred child-sized respirators and distributed them across New Brunswick. The demand for these masks was so high that we quickly ran out. This effort demonstrated to us just how strong the desire to be safe was, and that in many instances well meaning people simply did not have the tools available or the means to obtain them.
Since October 2022, PoPNB has distributed over 3,000 free respirators to New Brunswickers, and we could not have done any of that without the support of our community. We are so incredible thankful for all of you, and we hope that together we can continue to help keep people as safe as possible.
With that in mind, this August, PoPNB coordinated a back to school mask drive to raise money for the purchase of good quality respirators to be given free to those in need. We expanded upon the previous drive and broadened the variety of respirators we procured in order to fit more faces and keep more people more safe. We also established ad hoc distribution points in most New Brunswick health zones.
Through the Back to School Mask Drive, PoPNB raised $1,700, $1690.81 of which was used to purchase respirators with the remaining $9.19 being donated to Donate Mask, a volunteer-run charity that endeavours to ship free N95 equivalent respirator masks to anyone in Canada. We also received generous donations of respirators from several organizations and businesses.
With the generous donations the PoPNB Back to School Mask Drive received, we were able to acquire the following:
550 CA-N95 KIDS (XS) Black Disposable Respirator Masks
300 CA-N95 KIDS (XS) White Disposable Respirator Masks
250 CA-N95 KIDS (XS) Blue Disposable Respirator Masks
100 CA-N95 SMALL Black Disposable Respirator Masks
50 BreatheTeq KN95 KIDS (XS) Lavender Respirator Masks
640 Medsup KN95 Disposable 5-layer Face Masks
500 Vitacore CAN99e KIDS Earloop Respirators, 400 of which were donated by Vitacore
960 BYD Headstrap KN95 Respirators donated by NB Lung
500 additional respirators of various designs and sizes donated by Donate Mask
Orders were placed on August 21 and began to arrive on August 28.
It was important to us to get kids’ respirators everywhere we could in advance of school starting. To that end we deployed a google form for people to submit mask requests. If you or someone you know is in need of masks, make a request here and we’ll connect you with someone in your zone:
We are also still looking for a mask distribution champion in zones 4 and 5. If you would be interested in helping us distribute free masks please reach out to us here.
This was an incredible success in our opinion and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed. Community is such a powerful tool, and community care has always been the heart of our advocacy. An enormous thank you to Haley who took the lead on this endeavour. She brought everything together in a seamless manner and has become the calm, focussed core of what is an ongoing and ever-increasing-in-scale advocacy project.
And thank you to everyone who donated, supported, cheered, boosted, and spread the word. We wish you all the ability and capacity to remain safe.
While we are discussing Back to School, please check out PoPNB’s Safe September Toolkit here:
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