Learn how our Community Response Fund is fighting the impacts of COVID-19.

Return to news

UWCNEO 'Mask Task' Initiative to Distribute Nearly 27,000 Reusable Masks Across the Region

United Way Centraide North East Ontario - Monday, 2 November 2020

Frontline Service Provider Request Form - Click link to access request form

For many people in our communities, getting a face mask is not as easy as it sounds. Through the Local Love in a Global Crisis Community Response Fund, United Way Centraide North East Ontario/Nord-est de l’Ontario is gearing up to distribute nearly 27,000 free, reusable masks to vulnerable people through the ‘Mask Task’ initiative.

“Our goal is to ensure that vulnerable children, seniors, and others who need reusable masks be equipped to protect themselves and those around them,” says Mary Lou Hussak, executive director with UWCNEO. “We are working closely with local health units, frontline service providers, and school boards to coordinate the distribution of masks through partnering agencies.”

In addition to the reusable face masks, UWCNEO will be distributing over 1,500 litres of hand sanitizer, generously donated by Canadian Tire, to assist organizations that have adapted or increased their services to help people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“Organizations in need of face masks or hand sanitizer are encouraged to apply at uwcneo.com by filling out a short application,” says Hussak. “For individuals wishing to learn more about how to obtain a reusable mask, we encourage you to visit United Way’s website for a listing of partnering organizations or to contact us directly for more information.”

Funding for this initiative is made possible through the Community Response Fund, a regional initiative established to provide emergency grants to local charitable organizations helping to meet the basic needs of vulnerable individuals. To date, over $275,000 has been invested into 41 targeted programs across six districts.


About United Way

For almost four decades, UWCNEO has been a part of the social fabric that connects our community. Our strength is bringing people together to address complex issues and improve the lives of vulnerable people in our community. We invest in programs and collaborations that create lasting change.


For decades, UWCNEO has been committed to making our community a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. In addition to research and advocacy, we invest in the most effective local programs in the areas of poverty, community and kids.