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We need your help. As of mid-July 2020, our project is distributing 1,100 masks per month. Many of those are donated, but we’ve been notified by the suppliers that their inventory will run out sooner rather than later.
We began in April with 28 requests in our first day. As of mid-July, we’ve distributed over 3000 masks. By the end of September, we distributed 5000+ And by the end of 2020, more than 10,000 masks.
We estimate one mask costs about $10.00 to produce and distribute. This is based on retail averages and includes the following real costs we have to cover in varying degrees for each mask:
- Fabric and sewing materials (elastic, nose pieces, thread, bobbins, etc)
- Packing supplies (plastic baggies, brown paper bags, and larger grocery bags)
- Envelopes for mailed masks
None of this includes the time of the many volunteers working on this project – sewists, coordinators, drivers, packers, and more.
1100 masks at $10 is a monthly budget of $11,000. 1500 masks is $15,000.
Our current plan is to distribute 2 masks per person to each participating household. We hope to be able to provide 4 masks for school-aged children and youth. In addition, we distribute bulk quantities of 100 or more to local trans and queer organizations to redistribute to their own consumers. These include Garden of Peace, SisTers Pgh, True T Pgh, Project Matters, and more.
We cannot continue this work without your investment. Our supplier partners are wonderful, but they have told us they can’t give us masks indefinitely. Our sewists can’t make 1100 or more masks per month, even with materials. We’ve fundraised a bit. We’ve spoken with local foundation; they are not funding this type of work.
We need YOUR help.
This is a public health issue, period. It is about health. People need masks to stay healthy and keep others healthy. Not everyone can walk into Target and buy a handful of masks – although we appreciate that Target sells masks at affordable prices, the failing economy is hitting our community hard. Getting masks to other people protects your fmily.
As mask requirements tighten, demand outpaces supply for those who can afford to buy their masks. The prevalence of suppliers who are not allies or friends to our community makes this a difficult path to navigate for our neighbors juggling so many scary things right now. No one should feel unsafe about buying a face mask, but the same is true for renting an apartment, having a job, getting medical care, buying a cake, and more. For 70% of Pennsylvanians, the reality is they can be legally discriminated against when buying a mask.
We need your help – today. You can send supplies or a financial donation. You can a monthly commitment of $10. You can invite your friends and family to help.
We’d also like to keep MasQueerAde going and need financial support to do that. The funds go back into the community as stipents for the hosts and co-hosts.
Here are some options to consider
Donate via Paypal
Donate via Venmo
Donate via Cash App
Donate via Zelle
Donate via our GoFundMe appeal
Our Ioby crowdfund has a 100% match from the Elsie Hillman Foundation – we need $3000 to access the match and meet our goal. FULLY FUNDED!
Mail a check payable to Pittsburgh Masque Project to our fiscal offices c/o Pittsburgh Equality Center 5840 Ellsworth Avenue #100 Pittsburgh, PA 15232 – please be sure to clearly indicate this is for the Pittsburgh Masque Project with a note or on the memo line.
When E! The Dragnificent did a benefit performance of one song for us – she raised $200. One song. Can you do something similar? (We hoped a challenge chain would begin, but alas that was not the case.)
Have another idea? Reach out to PghMasQUeProjecT@gmail.com
This is how Phat Man Dee supports us – she wrote an anthem!