Donation boxes are in place at every Fairfax County, Virginia, police station to collect facial masks and hygiene items to be distributed by local food pantries.
“Because these are items that cannot be purchased through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” said Shirley Ginwright, chair of the Communities of Trust Committee, which is organizing the effort.
While health experts state the importance of having face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, some families can’t afford to buy masks or hygiene items.
“If you have a choice to purchase food for your family or buy a personal hygiene item, you’re going to purchase the food,” Ginwright said.
The need for masks became particularly apparent, Ginwright said, at a recent community event to distribute free meals.
“It was really surprising and, in a way, heartbreaking that so many came and did not have a mask,” Ginwright said.
Items being collected include:
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Adult incontinence underwear
- Soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Deodorant and lotions
- Laundry and dish detergent
- Paper towels and toilet paper
- Household cleaners
Items can be dropped off at any time at any police station in Fairfax County. More information can be found at the Fairfax County Emergency Information webpage. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Communities of Trust Committee at 703-646-8994.
“We can make this happen with your help,” Ginwright said. “We can make sure that our vulnerable communities are taken care of.”
The Communities of Trust Committee, established in 2014 shortly after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was created to build and enhance relationships between public safety agencies in Fairfax County and the community with a focus on the police department.
On Wednesday, May 10, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., the committee is hosting a virtual discussion on hate crimes and racism that will include Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr.
Those who would like to attend the event need to register on the Fairfax County website.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Coronavirus FAQ: What you need to know
- Coronavirus resources: Get and give help in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Finding a recipe for recovery: What DC area chefs are stress eating right now
- Hospitality and tourism leaders discuss way forward with DC-area reopening
- Prince George’s County megachurch reflects on potential reopening plans
Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.
© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.