The owners of Rebel Converting, a manufacturer of hospital-grade wipes, knew they could help with the shortage of face masks. They had the raw materials and engineering needed.
But they also knew they had a significant challenge -- they needed hundreds of volunteers and a plan to assemble and distribute the masks.
A few phone calls later an unlikely team was assembled that included the Milwaukee Bucks, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, the City of Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and others. They branded their effort "MaskUp Milwaukee" #MaskUpMKE. Soon thousands of kits were being produced and shipped to volunteer assemblers.
The recipients of the first batch of free masks were individuals standing in line at the polls during the controversial Wisconsin election on April 7.
After the election the MaskUpMKE team set a new goal of producing 3.5 million masks for distribution to anyone in need - from healthcare workers to first responders to underserved communities.
This effort is ongoing and volunteers are still needed!
To help assemble kits families or organizations can visit https://www.unitedwaygmwc.org/Our-Impact/COVID-19-Response/MaskUpMKE. Mask assembly is a great project for anyone sheltering at home looking to help. Kids are welcome to help too.
To request face coverings, medical and nonprofit organizations should visit www.MaskUpMKE.org/request. The masks will be delivered after they are quarantined for 72 hours following return to Fiserv Forum. Individuals looking for masks or face coverings who do not belong to medical and nonprofit organizations should call 211 for more information.
Efforts to distribute mask assembly kits to the general public are being held on weekends at the Fiserv Forum downtown Milwaukee between 9:00 and 5:00. Individuals, families, and groups can pick up an assembly kit. Check the website for up-to-date details on when kits will be available for pickup.
Kits contain instructions and materials to make 700 face coverings. Each mask takes approximately one to two minutes to assemble. Volunteers then return their boxes to Fiserv Forum upon completion.
Anyone who is unable to volunteer but still wants to support the effort can make a gift towards MaskUpMKE through their website.
We all want to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 and one way to do that is to wear a mask. If you need to travel - MASK UP!
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