CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot is launching a new initiative Tuesday to encourage Chicago's most vulnerable residents to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative is a citywide cloth mask drive called, "Chicago Together! Make a Mask, Give a Mask, Wear a Mask."
Mayor Lightfoot is asking residents to make and donate homemade cloth masks that will be provided to Chicago's vulnerable population in homeless shelters, community health clinics and more.
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Efforts like this have been going on all across our area.
Since fashion major students at Columbia College Chicago are not in class, they are just a few putting their sewing skills to good use.
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Senior Maria Varela should be planning her May graduation and her next steps, but instead she and her classmates are sewing masks.
"I have never been more proud to be a creative person during a time like this when the whole world is kinda going crazy right now it's been creators who are stepping up to help," Varela said.
Varela, along fellow students and staff, decided to step in and help make masks.
With the help of donations, they were able to buy fabric and then they set a lofty goal.
"We started right around March 20. We had a zoom call how do we make this possible by March 29 - a 9 day turn around - which has been the most remarkable thing," Varela said. "We had enough manpower to pledge 2,000 masks."
The mayor is now providing cloth masks to essential city workers as well and COVID safety officers will also make sure social distancing techniques are practiced across departments.
Mask donations will be accepted for the program with drop-off locations available across the city. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning Saturday April 25 through Saturday May 16.
-Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) | 1958 N. Milwaukee Avenue
-Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward) | 435 E. 35th Street
-Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) | 2325 E. 71st Street
-Ald. George Cardenas (12th Ward) | 2458 W. 38th Street
-Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward) | 6272 W. North Avenue a
-Ald. Felix Cardona (31st Ward) | 4605 W. Diversey Avenue
-Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) | 2657 N. Clybourn Avenue
-Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd Ward) | 3001 Irving Park Road
-Ald. Samantha Nugent (39th Ward) | 4200 W. Lawrence Avenue
-Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward) | 7442 N. Harlem Avenue
-Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward) | 3223 N. Sheffield Ave.
-Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward) | 4544 N. Broadway Avenue
-Ald. Harry Osterman (48th Ward) |5533 N. Broadway Avenue
Participating Churches as part of the First Ladies Health Initiative (FLHI)
-Apostolic Faith Church | 3823 S. Indiana Avenue
-Austin Church of Christ | 4750 W Washington Boulevard
-Blackwell-Israel Samuel AME Zion Church | 3956 S. Langley Avenue
Canaan Community Church | 1701 W. Garfield
-Commonwealth Community Church | 140 W. 81st Street
-Concord Baptist Church | 6319 S. Kimbark Avenue
-Cosmopolitan Community Church | 5249 S. Wabash Avenue
-Greater St. John Bible Church | 1256 N. Waller
-Heritage International Food Distribution Center | 5312 W. North Avenue
-Mount Carmel Bible Church | 740 E 42nd Street
-Mount Vernon Baptist Church | 2622 W. Jackson Boulevard
-New Mount Calvary | 1850 W. Marquette Road
-Original Philadelphia M.B. Church | 6558 S. Carpenter Street
-Park Manor Baptist Church | 8328 S. Green Street
-People's Church of the Harvest | 3750 West Fifth Avenue
-Salem Baptist Church of Chicago | 752 E. 114th Street
-St. James Unity Baptist | 900 S. Sacramento Boulevard
-Trinity United Church of Christ | 400 W. 95th Street
-Unity Fellowship Baptist Church | 211 N. Cicero Avenue
For more information, visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus. The masks can be made from recycled cloth, such as T-shirts, bandanas, jeans, thick cotton and other breathable fabrics.
Governor JB Pritzker said he is also strongly thinking about requiring masks in public places statewide.
"That has what has led me to think hard about whether we should require people wear masks when they go to public places, because if you are not wearing a mask and you are not socially distant, those two things together lead to people getting sick," Governor Pritzker said.
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Several suburbs are now requiring people wear masks in certain cases. They include Northbrook, Niles, Highland Park, Wilmette, Morton Grove, Skokie, Cicero and Glenview. Evanston will join them on Thursday.
Chicago coronavirus: Mayor Lori Lightfoot launches cloth face mask drive 'Chicago Together! Make a Mask, Give a Mask, Wear a Mask'
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