GURNEE – Leaders United, a group of young professionals supporting the work of United Way of Lake County through volunteerism and philanthropy, launched a mask donation drive to support 3,500 Waukegan Public School students and families in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The group has focused primarily on service projects in the schools, including an early morning mentoring program at Robert Abbott Middle School for struggling students to promote confidence in academics, leadership and self-esteem.
The City of Waukegan recently contributed 14,000 disposable masks to the effort. The masks were acquired through the Community Development Block Grant Program. Then a team of volunteers led by Leaders United and including representatives from United Way of Lake County, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 19th Judicial Circuit Court, Waukegan Main Street, Waukegan School District 60 and the city of Waukegan came together at City Hall to pack the masks for distribution.
“Our Waukegan Community Development Block Grant department continues its mission to serve our community by joining with the United Way of Lake County, Leaders United and Waukegan School District 60 in order to distribute masks to the low-income families of Waukegan students,” Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said in a news release. “I appreciate the work of the partner agencies, as well as the many volunteers that made this possible. And we’re not done. We will all continue to do what is necessary in this time of great need to fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19.”
The masks will be delivered in conjunction with the district’s mobile meal distribution program to 80 locations throughout Waukegan. Teachers within the district also will benefit from the donation.
“It is amazing to see how many community members stepped up to meet Waukegan’s needs on such short notice and during this time of crisis,” said Carolina Fabian, family and community engagement coordinator at Waukegan Public Schools. ”Thank you United Way of Lake County and Leaders United for making it happen, and the City of Waukegan for the generous donation.”
The Leaders United mask donation drive will continue through May 28. The community can donate unused disposable and homemade masks by placing them in the collection bin near the front desk of the Waukegan Police Department, 101 N. West St. in downtown Waukegan.
For information, call Bobbi Selvik, Leaders United lead, at 847-775-1042, or visit https://211lakecounty.org/images/News/Volunteer_Opportunities.pdf.