Rotary District 7255 Passport Club helped distribute thousands of surgical, KN95 and children's masks to frontline workers through the Million Mask Challenge.
Taylor Quaranta, the current president of the Rotary, said the mask distribution was a part of a service initiative between Rotary International Zone 32 and The Rossi Family Foundation. In January, the Rotary was given over 300,000 masks to distribute across Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties through 41 Rotary Clubs in the district.
The local Rotary was allotted nearly 15,000 masks that were distributed to 19 different organizations across Long Island in Center Moriches, Shirley-Mastic, Riverhead, East Northport, Brooklyn, Huntington and Yaphank, including the Salvation Army, Gowanus Mutual Aid, Maureen's Haven, VFW 414, Helping Hands, Meals on Wheels and the Colonial Youth.
With past chamber president Miriam Gillies’s help, Quaranta said the club was able to distribute over 7,000 masks this upcoming week for distribution to 10 different organizations in Center Moriches.
“Everyone should have access to protective face wear during a pandemic, especially those in our most vulnerable populations who may not be able to afford to purchase masks,” she said. “Wearing a mask is truly a matter of life and death right now. We want to make sure everyone who needs them has access to them, especially frontline workers, who suffer from supply shortages and often have to supply their owns masks.”
The Rotary District 7255 Passport Club was chartered in July 2019. This new style of club emphasizes service over meetings and provides a flexible outlet to become involved. Unlike traditional Rotary Clubs, membership in this club is not bound by where members live or work. The club meets only twice a year virtually.
The Rotary Club currently has 30 members, ranging from age 20 to 80, with people from all different backgrounds, fields, and locations. Throughout the pandemic, Quaranta said they have been focused on supporting local communities through service at local food pantries, food drives and donating meals to local funeral homes and nursing homes.
To follow the club, visit their social media pages or website at: https://www.facebook.com/rotarypassportclub.org/; www.rotarypassportclub.org.