Masks4Schools is a project of Altrusa International of Longview-Kelso members who collaborate with community groups and individuals to provide masks for children and staff of local schools.
The group’s goal during the nine-month project has been to “keep sewing machines humming” to provide a mask for every child who receives one of the Altrusa backpack buddy weekly food packs as part of COVID-19 safety measures and as students begin returning to in-person schooling.
The Altrusans reached their goal in September providing face masks to elementary schools they served the previous year, including Catlin, Mint Valley, Northlake and Kessler. According to information submitted to The Daily News, Altrusans “kept the challenge going forward” to other area schools and delivered face masks to Barns, Beacon Hill, Butler Acres, Rose Valley and Wallace elementary schools in Kelso; to Columbia Heights, Olympic, Robert Gray, St. Helens and Three Rivers Christian elementary schools in Longview; and to Kalama Elementary School.
Most schools requested about 100 child size masks and 10 adult masks. Two hundred masks were delivered to Kalama elementary.
Once the requests from the elementary schools were fulfilled, Altrusans embarked on providing masks to Coweeman and Huntington middle schools in Kelso and Cascade and Monticello middle schools in Longview. The schools received what they requested: 100 masks for Coweeman, Huntington and Monticello and 150 for Cascade.
Other groups that helped with the Masks4Schools project are STV (4-H Sewing an Textile volunteers), the Rose Valley Grange, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Delta Kappa Gamma society of women educators.
To date, Altrusans have sewn and donated more than 2,100 masks. As the need for masks continues, Altrusans welcome volunteer sewers from the community to help out. For details, send an email to email@example.com.