United Way Teams up with HanesBrands to Donate Masks to Caldwell County Schools

LENOIR, NC (December 23, 2020) — As part of America’s Mask Challenge, HanesBrands Inc. is coordinating with the United Way of Caldwell County to deliver 70,500 reusable cloth masks for every Title 1 school in Caldwell County by the first week of school in January 2021.

It’s part of the new mask initiative from United Way, the Business Roundtable, comprising 182 CEOs of large American companies, and the CDC Foundation. The goal is to get 200 million washable face masks to 40 million students, teachers, and staff in America’s most under-resourced schools. That translates roughly to five washable masks per person.

The Challenge, which launched on December 9th, is expediting mask delivery for the second half of the school year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cloth masks in schools can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, along with other mitigation strategies like handwashing, social distancing, and regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in schools and buses.

As America continues to grapple with COVID-19 and the resulting health, economic, and education fallout, United Way’s focus has been on the disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable. One place to make a difference is protecting students, teachers, and school staff as schools pursue in-person instruction.

In Caldwell County, masks are going to all 20 of our Title 1 schools, which serve high populations of students from low-income families.

Jamie Willis, Executive Director, United Way of Caldwell County, said, “This support from HanesBrands will help ensure our most vulnerable residents have masks to help keep them safe and slow the spread.”

HanesBrands, a leading global marketer of branded everyday basic apparel, is the first company to join the Challenge. Hanes has donated 25 million masks to the Challenge, which are now being distributed. As the Challenge gains traction, Hanes will produce the masks and coordinate with United Way on delivery.

Chris Fox, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility at HanesBrands Inc., notes, “United Way has led the way in helping our neighbors through the pandemic. We’re pleased to support United Way’s effort to help keep school children safe and healthy as they return to classrooms.”

United Way of Caldwell County has been part of the effort to help communities cope with the health, economic, and education fallout from COVID-19. In March, the United Way of Caldwell County launched the Caldwell County Coronavirus Relief Fund that gave immediate funds to Caldwell County nonprofits who saw an increase in demand due to COVID-19. In early December, the United Way of Caldwell County applied for and received 67,500 masks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and distributed them to every school, Fire Department, Law Enforcement, and town/city government in Caldwell County. They have also distributed face masks to many local nonprofits and still have a few boxes left. If you know of a nonprofit that needs face masks, please contact Jamie Willis at liveunited@caldwellunitedway.org.

Press Release provided by Jamie Willis
Executive Director
United Way of Caldwell County