NRCA Community Supporters of the Year Award

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New River Community Action (NRCA) presented its Community Supporter of the Year Award to the New River Valley (NRV) Mask Makers at the NRCA Board of Directors meeting on May 20, 2021.

NRV Mask Makers was formed by a group of volunteers in response to the statewide mask wearing requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mask Makers worked diligently to sew and deliver 18,021 masks to different organizations and schools in the New River Valley from March 2020 through February 2021. Volunteers who could not sew helped deliver the masks and donated supplies to support the operation.

NRV Mask Makers filled an urgent community need early in the pandemic. They created a Facebook page that allowed groups to request masks, then used different types of fabric, sizes, and styles to fit each recipient. The masks helped residents work, grocery shop, visit the doctor, and helped children return to school

Head Start children wear child-size masks created and donated by the NRV Mask Makers.

The NRV Mask Makers donated 900 washable, handmade masks to NRCA, including 600 child-sized masks for preschool students in the Head Start Program. The smaller masks were important to ensure Head Start classes would continue in a safe manner. The average cost of each mask was $6 for a total of more than $5,000 worth of donated personal protective equipment to help NRCA continue its mission in the area.

Working in collaboration with local health and human service partner agencies, volunteers, community, and faith-based organizations, NRCA assists approximately 9,000 NRV residents each year through a variety of programs that address local conditions of poverty and improve the lives of lower-income individuals and families.