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Facemasks for All is helping to “get back to normal”

Facemasks for All is helping to “get back to normal”

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When Darryl Tanner–founder and CEO of King Memory, an award-winning Columbus RAM and technology company–visited Tokyo in January right after the COVID-19 breakout in Asia, he didn’t expect his experience there to translate into helping out his community back home.

While residents in Asain countries have been wearing facial coverings for decades due to exposure to epidemics such as SARS and bird flu, Americans have not yet adapted to the practice. 

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They’ve been used to having to mitigate epidemics, and then also there were a lot of countries over there that have excessive air pollution,” Tanner said.

When Tanner returned stateside, he decided to make it his personal mission to help the Columbus community mask up. So he started Facemasks for All and has already distributed and donated over one million masks, 40,000 of which were donated by others to support his mission.

Although Tanner says that the trend in mask-wearing is getting better, Ohio is still amongst one of the least cooperative states, according to a recent study done by Survival at Home.

Tanner shared a personal experience with providing masks to Ohioans in which Facemasks for All sold 40,000 masks at cost to Mount Carmel Hospital, where his mom is employed.

Now Tanner is on the frontlines –helping to remove the stigma of mask-wearing in Columbus and beyond. As of publication, Facemasks for All has provided facial coverings to over 200 individuals and organizations.

“I get where the resistance is coming from…because our government has failed us so much for so long,” Tanner said. “It’s created a deep distrust for government.”

Whether passing out face masks and hand sanitizers downtown at the protests or donating them to COTA and Columbus firefighters, Tanner realizes that everyone can use a helping hand right now when it comes to protecting the health of Columbus residents. Seeing the need for more than just facial coverings at the protest spurred him to offer more than just facial coverings in his PPE stock.

Even though Tanner agrees that Americans haven’t totally jumped on the mask-wearing bandwagon yet, he’s hopefully because we’re trending in the right direction. 

“You ultimately can’t deny science, math, or logic,” Tanner said. 

Columbus Recreation and Parks will also be assisting in the city’s efforts to provide residents with the necessary materials to mask up for those who may not be able to afford PPE. Free produce markets in July, August, and September will give people the opportunity to pick up free face masks along with produce bundles.

The dates for the free produce markets, which will be open from 3:30 – 5 p.m., are as follows: 

  • Adams Community Center – 854 Alton Ave. | 43219
    • Dates: July 23, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24
  • Barnett Community Center – 1184 Barnett Rd. | 43227
    • Dates: Aug. 14 and Sept. 11
  • Beatty Community Center – 247 N. Ohio Ave. | 43203
    • Dates: Aug. 14 and Sept. 11
  • Dodge Community Center – 667 Sullivant Ave. | 43215
    • Dates: July 23, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24
  • Feddersen Community Center – 3911 Dresden St. | 43224
    • Dates: Aug. 7, Aug. 21, Sept. 4 and Sept. 18
  • Glenwood Community Center – 1888 Fairmont Ave. | 43223
    • Dates: Aug. 6 and Aug. 20
  • Holton Community Center – 303 N. Eureka Ave. | 43204
    • Dates: Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and Sept. 17
  • Howard Community Center – 2505 N. Cassady Ave. | 43219
    • Dates: July 23, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24
  • Marion Franklin Community Center – 2801 Lockbourne Rd. | 43207
    • Dates: July 23 and Sept. 24
  • Milo Grogan Community Center – 862 E. 2nd Ave. | 43201
    • Dates: Aug. 7, Aug. 21, Sept. 4 and Sept. 18
  • Scioto Southland Community Center – 3901 Parsons Ave. | 43207
    • Dates: July 23, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24
  • Tuttle Park Community Center – 240 W. Oakland Ave. | 43201
    • Dates: Aug. 7, Aug. 21, Sept. 4 and Sept. 25

To find out more about Facemasks for All, you can visit its website here.

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