We had a successful “maskraiser” that ran for the whole of September 2020 with a goal of providing 25,000 quality cloth masks to Alberta students in need. We kicked off the campaign with a stockpile of 5,000 donation masks, and asked the public for support to help us raise the other 20,000.
For every mask purchased or donated through our website, we matched it with a donation mask of our own. Now that September has come to a close we will continue to find ways to support schools’ ongoing need for free or affordable, high-quality, ethically-made masks for children and staff.
Why are you running this campaign? The Government of Alberta is giving every child and teacher two cloth masks - isn’t that enough?
- We think it’s great that the Government of Alberta is providing two masks per kiddo! We just know that kids will almost certainly need more, and not every family can afford a full complement of masks.
- Current research indicates that masks should be switched out as soon as they become damp or dirty and that a worn mask should only be re-used with specific safety precautions that may be difficult for kids (and adults, for that matter) to uphold. References: (Government of Alberta, World Health Organization)
- One in every six children in Alberta live under the poverty line, and approximately 40% of minimum-wage workers in Alberta are parents. Families need dollars for groceries and basic expenses, so we’d like to limit the amount they have to spend on PPE. References: (Alberta Child Poverty Update 2018, Alberta Minimum Wage Profile 17/18).
- Our kids’ masks have been on the market since April, and we’ve had enough feedback from happy customers to be confident that we’ve got a comfortable, quality solution that works for kids of different ages and sizes.
What kind of masks are you donating?
- Unbelts cloth masks launched in April 2020 after intensive research. Their evidence-based design and materials comply with CDC and WHO guidelines (referenced by the Government of Alberta) and offer:
- 2-layer design with ability insert a filter as a third layer
- Hydrophobic (water-resistant) performance 300 thread-count outer shell of 95% polyester and 5% spandex*
- Hydrophilic (water-absorbing) 300 thread-count organic cotton lining*
- Nose wire for close fit and no glasses fog
- Adjustable straps**
- Lightweight design for comfortable long-term wear
- Available in four sizes (XXS for most kids 2-6; XS for most kids 7-12; and adult standard and XL for teens and grown-ups).
- Find a full list of citations here.
- All masks are produced by our fully living-wage supply chain. We are a Certified B Corporation that is third-party verified to be working exclusively with factories that create excellent working conditions for their teams, and we’ve spent nearly a decade building direct relationships with small-scale operators who can uphold our quality standards. You can read more about our mask production here.
- *Note: While 100% cotton designs were recommended closer to the outbreak of COVID-19, current recommendations are that different materials be used for every layer.
How to apply for and receive donated masks
My school needs masks. How can I apply for a donation?
- If you’re the school principal of an Alberta public school - thanks for your commitment to keeping your school safe for all. Please click here to fill out our two-minute Donation Request form.
- Recipients will be chosen based on principals’ applications through our Masks For Schools Donation Request page, with priority on schools with highest economic need (assessed by principals’ stated per-student PPE budget). Although we will do our best to donate to as many schools as possible, we are limited by our donation budget and can’t guarantee every applicant will receive masks.
- Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.
Will you consider donating to schools outside Alberta?
- We’re a proud Edmonton company with staff in Calgary and Cold Lake. We’ve got kids in Alberta schools and friends teaching in Alberta classrooms. With a limited donation budget starting out, we’re focusing on our home province… but we realize schools all over need comfy masks for kids. If we’ve got the support we need to expand our donation operations and budget, we’ll revisit our capacity to serve other geographical areas.
- Are you outside of Alberta and in need of donation masks for your school? Fill out our Masks for Schools donation request form and select the “We’re not located in Alberta - please contact us if you’re able to expand your donation program” option so we can reach out to you.
When and how are donation masks being distributed?
- Masks will be shipped out weekly, on Mondays.
- Schools in Edmonton and surrounding areas may schedule a curbside pickup from Unbelts HQ; we’re in the Ritchie neighbourhood, just south of Old Strathcona.
- Schools in Edmonton proper will receive expedited delivery via local courier.
- Schools outside of Edmonton proper will receive Expresspost service via Canada Post.
I’m not involved with a school, but I need donation masks for my family or my organization. Do you have a program for me?
- Yes. We’ve always earmarked 20% of our mask inventory for community donations, and our Masks for Schools campaign is in addition to, not instead of, this program. We’re really proud to have donated over 1,200 masks to families and non-profit organizations this summer.
- You can apply here for non-school donation masks; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
How to get involved
I’m an individual. How can I help?
- If you need masks for yourself and your family - purchase here, and we’ll add the same number of masks to our donation stockpile.
- If you don’t need masks but want to help - purchase donation masks here and we’ll match the number of masks you donate - plus one bonus mask, because we’re saving on shipping your order!
- You can see our progress towards our goal of 25,000 donation masks on the ticker above (updated 3 times per week) or on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.
We’re a business. How can we help?
- If you need masks for your team - contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an enterprise purchase that we’ll complement with donation masks.
Affordable purchase programs for schools and teachers
My school needs masks, and I’ve got the budget to buy them. What do you offer?
- We have a no-markup purchase program specifically for schools in need of high-quality, ethically-made PPE at an affordable price point - and you’ll know you’re supporting an Alberta business. Please email us at email@example.com for more information.
I’m a teacher, and I’d like to buy masks from your website. Do you offer a teachers’ discount?
Yup. We know what you’re risking for the education of our little ones, and we really, really appreciate it. Please click here to access a 20% discount on our masks, mask accessories, and machine-washable belts. We will match your mask purchases with an equal number of donation masks.