We Did It – We Raised $11,000 to Distribute Face Masks to Trans & Queer Folks Throughout 2021

(Type in original headline corrected – obviously I’m tired!)

Holy smokes – we did it, yinz. Combining matches and a lot of pleading by me, we successfully raised $11,000 for the Pittsburgh MasQUe ProjecT. These funds will be used through 2021 to cover our operational expenses. The funds will be administered by our fiscal sponsor, the PIttsburgh Equality Center.

Whew! I have to say that I am pretty relieved. We’ve been at this since July so I’m tired of asking for money. But on a personal note, it was important to me to get this done. We are in the midst of a pandemic and relying on month-to-month appeals made by me wouldn’t work if I am infected with COVID-19 (or my partner is.) So now if the worst happens, I will know the project will continue and that gives me a lot of comfort, something in short supply these days.

We’ve taken other steps to diversify our work – the masks are stored in various locations, the systems and information are accessible by multiple people, etc. Of course, we can always use more volunteers.

In fact, we REALLY need most sewists (stitchers) to commit to a monthly sustaining supply of 25 or 50 or whatever is viable. Our main industrial supplier has had to cut back so we need to have a solid Plan B. Plus, people like the handmade masks a lot. If you can do that, either on a regular basis or even one time, please contact us. We’ve got fabric and stuff.

Over 119 people donated. A third of the donations were $10 or less. That’s very telling about who values this work that we do and the people that we serve.

Thank you to the Elsie Hillman Foundation and ioby for creating the pool of matching funds.

Thank you to the F. Dok Harris Initiative for the extra match.

Thank you to everyone who shared the link and to my lovely friends Anne and Pam who donated multiple times, as did my new friend Gina. I see what you did!

According to today’s report from the Allegheny Health Department, there are 1642 new cases over the past 48 hours – they didn’t report on the holiday. That’s more than 800 cases per day on average. There are increasing cases of very young infants being infected. The median age is lowering.

Allegheny Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen, local and regional hospital could be overwhelmed within a month. One month.

One month.

For the love of God, wear a mask and stay home.

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