While plans for the fall academic season are not set in stone, one thing we do know is that students, teachers and staff will be wearing masks when they go back to the classroom. JOANN Stores, the nation’s largest retailer of fabric and crafts, is helping to prepare the nation’s most at-risk schools to get back safely with a new Masks for Schools program launching nationwide. With every pre-made protective face mask purchased from the chain, it will donate one to a school in need.

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“We have been on a mission to protect Americans by way of cloth masks since the onset of this pandemic, and masks will continue to be one of the most effective ways to mitigate the spread for the foreseeable future,” said Wade Miquelon, CEO & President of JOANN. “We realize that as schools – from preschools to universities – resume in-person classes, they will be in need of masks. We aim to continue the mission we set forth in March – to help mask and protect all, while supporting those on the frontlines, and regardless of any ability to pay.” 

This new effort comes as JOANN’s “Make to Give” DIY mask campaign has reached an incredible milestone, providing an estimated 200 million masks to Americans by way of store and corporate donations, and customer mask-making purchases. Larger coordinated efforts to support hospitals and healthcare systems have included JOANN’s partnerships with Neiman Marcus and David’s Bridal.

“The response has been incredible, and we know that more than ever, people are looking for ways to help,” said Miquelon. “We launched our free Make to Give mask effort to help them do that, and we want to continue empowering America to give to those in need. We know some of the nation’s most at-risk school districts are already looking for ways to protect their students and staff, and we’re proud to be able to start contributing now.”

JOANN’s longstanding partnership with Kids In Need Foundation will allow the company to help serve those most under-resourced with the protective equipment they may not be able to obtain otherwise.

“As schools across America prepare for the start of classes in just two-to-three months, we know there are many challenges,” said Corey Gordon, CEO of KINF. “We are thrilled that our longtime partner JOANN – which donates millions of dollars in crafts and materials every year to underserved teachers and students nationwide – is playing such an active role in ensuring teachers can teach and learners can learn, in a safe and healthy environment.”

For more on the Masks for Schools program, visit www.joann.com/masks-for-schools. For free mask-making tutorials, patterns and updates on the Make to Give effort, visit joann.com/maketogive. To see how JOANN is working to protect Team Members and customers, see the latest at joann.com/joanns-response-to-the-coronavirus.

*Editor’s Note: According to the CDC, children under age 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not use a cloth face covering.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo: JOANN Fabrics

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