LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — When the COVID-19 pandemic began, a group called The Superhero Mask Project formed in Kentucky to make masks for healthcare workers and first responders across the United States.
"We have people across the country that are sewing. We do help a lot in Kentucky, but have also helped 19 states total," said founder Catherine Kamei.
The group has given out a total of about 10,000 masks. While it was formed initially to help frontline workers, 4,000 of those masks have now been given out to children. It started with a request from Picadome Elementary in Lexington and quickly grew to help several Title 1 schools and youth programs.
"The second we started helping children, we really had an influx of people who wanted to help," said Kamei. "Who does not want to protect the most vulnerable and innocent in our community?"
Hundreds of masks have gone to help the Community Action Council's Head Start Program, promoting school readiness for children in low-income families.
"We serve 15 counties in the state Kentucky, which averages to about 2,200 children," said Head Start Director Jessica Coffie.
Coffie says the donations help ease the burden many families face in providing everything they need to keep their kids safe and healthy.
"Choosing to buy food or buy a mask, that's a real decision that our families have to make," said Coffie. "This project has lessened the burden and the worry for many families in being able to protect their children."
As the need for more masks continues for the Community Action Council and schools, the project is looking for more volunteers to sew or donate supplies. You can learn more by joining The Superhero Mask Project Facebook group.