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30,000 masks for GNY

The face masks came just in time.

The same week that New York State required essential employees to wear face masks in public, the Greater New York Division (GNY) received a donation of 30,000 professional–grade cloth face masks at Territorial Headquarters (THQ) from COVID-19 Life Preservation Initiative (LPI), a coalition of four American and three Chinese non–governmental organizations.

Seth Ditmer, the deputy director for operations for emergency services in GNY, said the donation had been in the works for a while.

“All of this started before the New York State executive order that essential workers have to wear masks when they’re interacting with the public,” he said. “It was a pretty timely arrangement for us.”

LPI shared photos of the donation on Facebook, saying, “The Salvation Army has given out over 700,000 meals to New York area’s vulnerable communities since the outbreak of COVID–19, and we want to protect them and the people they are helping. We hope our stories will encourage people to stay strong in this crisis and inspire them to give back to their own communities through volunteer work.”

The donation was made at THQ, which has served as a staging area for supplies during COVID–19.

Ditmer said the initial market for face masks required a minimum order and the costs were high. The donation was right on time.

“We’re now in the position of pushing all those masks out to all of our corps and residential programs around the division,” Ditmer said. “We want to make sure officers, staff, and volunteers are protected, as well as residents or clients of corps programs who are most at-risk.”

Ditmer said LPI was connected to The Salvation Army through Hope for New York, the philanthropic arm of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Network.

“They’re kind of a volunteering and funding conduit for faith-based organizations in New York City,” Ditmer said. “They’re pretty active in a lot of our projects and funders for a lot of our programs. We’re pretty closely connected with them.”

by Robert Mitchell



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