SACO, Maine — Face coverings remain a necessary safety factor in combating the spread of coronavirus — and the city of Saco was recently gifted 1,000 fabric masks to help in that effort.
Representatives of the United Way of York County and Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution delivered the masks to City Hall on Wednesday morning, Dec. 9. United Way of York County President Brian Petrovek and Saco & Biddeford Savings Chief Financial Officer Brian Ballute, also the UWYC treasurer, delivered the masks to Mayor William Doyle and City Administrator Bryan Kaenrath at City Hall.
The masks, sewn in Leominster, Massachusetts, in a program initiated by office furniture maker AIS, are among 5,000 UWYC has distributed in the county, said Petrovek. Others went to Biddeford, Kennebunk, Sanford, and Buxton.
Petrovek said the United Way of York County acquired the masks from its UW counterparts in central Massachusetts, which partnered with AIS in the “Sew the Masks” program. The program’s goal is to create and donate up to 1 million high quality, washable and reusable face masks for first responders and others at high risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AIS website. The masks are made by volunteer sewing enthusiasts who request a kit from AIS to sew 50 masks. They return them, in packaging provided, to AIS, which checks and distributes them.
Kaenrath said the masks will be distributed to the city’s first responders. Saco Mayor Doyle applauded the organizations involved in coming together to benefit municipalities. “It helps our community and sends a message of hope and caring,” he said.