The Chalmers Community Service Centre is experiencing a severe shortage of face masks and is asking the community for its help.
“We’re regularly, frequently, having guests ask us for masks,” said Peter Gill, volunteer executive director at Chalmer’s.
Chalmers has been relying on the community to provide masks throughout the pandemic, mainly cloth masks for their guests.
Gill said many guests come to the facility with surgical masks that don’t last long and are expensive. And for many already using cloth masks, they don’t have access to laundry facilities to clean the masks for long term daily use.
“We haven’t been giving out any surgical masks. We’re only giving out cloth masks,” said Gill.
After putting out the initial call this week, the centre received about 50 masks from the community.
“To have a decent supply, we probably need at least 500,” said Gill “Of course if this continues for significantly longer, that number may grow.”
Gill said people have also been asking for children-sized masks. And now that in-person school will commence in September, he believes the need for small masks will likely increase.
“What we’re going to have to do is ask people if they are able to supply smaller size masks for kids who are 10 and up. A regular adult mask is not going to fit a little child,” said Gill.
He said guests accessing their facility have shown immense gratitude.
“They’re totally thankful for getting the masks. Everybody appreciates getting it cause first of all everybody is anxious at the moment,” said Gill.
Chalmers modified their services for the pandemic with changes such as pre-packing food for guests so they don’t need to bring their own bags, enabling social distancing by keeping food lines outside with volunteers handing them food.Those who want to donate masks an email email@example.com so arrangements can be made to drop off or pick up the masks.