The Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville will be giving away thousands of free, cloth face masks over the weekend.
The masks, which come in packages of five, will be handed out from the Monroeville municipal building’s parking lot at 2700 Monroeville Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday .
There are 2,000 masks to be given away after an anonymous donor gave them to Rabbi Mendy Schapiro recently. He said there are another 2,000 disposable masks available if they run out of the others.
Schapiro said a friend and colleague of his in New York told him about the cloth masks back in March. Unsure of their demand, Schapiro placed an order of 2,000. After a few months of no masks, he forgot about the order until one day he found boxes delivered to his front door.
“I wanted to figure out a way to hand them out to the community as fast as possible, so I held off to figure out the best way to hand them out,” he said. His thought was that it would be easiest to literally hand them out since each package is individually wrapped.
He made calls to the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Monroeville and the Monroeville Foundation. The event was scheduled and Monroeville Council unanimously approved the use of the municipal parking lot at the Sept. 8 meeting.
Debbie Iszauk, event planner at the Monroeville Foundation, said the event will happen regardless of weather conditions.
“These are all pre-packaged and white. They’re high-grade antimicrobial. No questions asked, you drive up in a car, and you’re handed a five-pack of facemasks. Free,” Iszauk said. “This is a wonderful community mitzvah, or good deed, to share these with the community at large.”