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More than 40,000 masks collected through donation campaign

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Sep 9, 2020

news@breezenewspapers.com

The community came together and donated more than 40,000 reusable cloth masks for the School Heroes Wear Masks drive, which concluded a week ago.

School Board Member Betsy Vaughn said although the drive concluded last Friday they are still receiving masks and monetary donations.

“I had a very ambitious goal of 50,000. We didn’t make the 50,000, but it will come when we are done with all of this. We haven’t done the actual counting down to the last mask that is still coming in,” she said. “In addition, we have received several sizeable monetary donations.”

Vaughn said an online donation is still available on the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools website.

“We are going to keep a donation box here at the district for people who want to donate masks,” she said.

Vaughn said she is extremely pleased with the positive response they have received from the community. She mentioned that individuals from her gated community took it upon themselves to sew masks.

“We have some of the most beautiful mask donations coming in,” Vaughn said.

The best part, she said, is those donating to the cause are usually people who do not usually take part in district activities.

“I am just appreciative for the 15 masks that a lady sewed lovingly with special fabric that she picked out for the mask. Thank you all that made this a success. We are going to be shifting gears a little bit. There will be more information to come,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn originally mentioned the idea of holding a face mask drive to the school board during a workshop, which was followed by floating the idea to Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins. When he showed enthusiasm, Vaughn and district staff joined forces to put on the School Heroes Wear Masks drive.

There were 15 drop off sites throughout Lee County with some in Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers and North Fort Myers. Bins were set up from Monday, Aug. 17 through Friday, Aug. 28 for the community to donate reusable cloth masks.