STURBRIDGE — Facemasks make a difference and Marshalls located in Sturbridge donated over 2,000 child and adult masks and hand sanitizer to be distributed to non-profits that are affiliated to the United Way of South Central MA (UWSCM) along with local food pantries and elementary schools.
Paul Sullivan, administrative coordinator at the Sturbridge Marshalls, contacted the United Way stating TJX Company stores, which Marshalls is one, were removing masks and hand sanitizer from their shelves and they would like them to be donated to local charitable organizations. Sullivan thought of the United Way of South Central MA as a perfect recipient since UWSCM has 22 member agencies that assistant many children from toddlers to teens and adult programs that could benefit from these donated goods. Sullivan and assistant manager Brittany Vescovi met Mary O’Coin, Executive Director of UWSCM, with 11 boxes of donated supplies outside of the Marshalls in Sturbridge.
O’Coin was completely surprised by the number and quality of the masks that were donated. “The toddlers and young children in the early education centers at the YMCA, WCAC Head Start and Guild of St. Agnes will be thrilled to wear the adorable themed and sparkling masks.” Both adult and children masks were distributed to CASA of Worcester and the Boys and Girls Club of Webster-Dudley for volunteers, teachers and the children that are in foster care and attending remote learning centers to wear. Many masks were distributed to the Southbridge and Webster-Dudley Food Share for clients picking up from those locations. More youth masks were delivered to Southbridge elementary schools and Webster Park Ave. Elementary. Tri-Valley Inc. received adult masks for their Meals on Wheels drivers and volunteers who visit senior citizens in South County. Hand sanitizer and wipes were included in packages to various organizations, as well. O’Coin stated “We are so fortunate to receive this donation from Marshall’s and thank them for their generosity. As our communities still see a significant number of COVID-19 cases it is important that everyone continues to wear face masks, even if vaccinated. Hopefully, having these special masks will encourage all the children and adults to wear them to help stop the spread of the virus.”
The United Way of South Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Charlton, Dudley, Southbridge, Sturbridge and Webster and is located at 176 Main St., Suite 400, Southbridge, MA 01550. To learn more about programs and donate, visit www.uwscm.org, follow on Facebook @UWSCM or call (508) 765-5491.