Covid 19, also known as coronavirus is an infectious disease that has spread around the world. Known as a global pandemic, there have been a total of over 2.15 million confirmed cases in the United States alone as of June 18th, 2020.
The Michigan Youth Empowerment Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that is focused on bettering the community through the empowerment of its youth, continued it’s goal to contribute to the community even during such trying times. Creating new segments called mYeBEAT that published articles giving people access to tips such as how to safely buy food during covid 19 and providing lists of places and websites from which people can get groceries delivered from. A wide variety of articles to help both youth and adults throughout the quarantine such as how to reduce stress and intriguing STEM activities to ensure that the learning never stops were published. Near the end of the stay at home order on June 12th by the Michigan federal government, the mYeBEAT team came together and recognized the importance of safety protections as people go out more and more. Though the supply chains for facemasks and self protection equipment were up, however, the team wanted to help people in need, without the measures to procure facemasks, be able to attain this necessary safety equipment. Thus after many weeks of planning, the mYeBEAT Team launched the mYe Face Mask Distribution Program on May 28th, 2020 with a generous donation of facemasks from the company Makeblock, through the publishing of a new article that contained a google form allowing members of the community to apply for facemasks.
Overall, our program helped deliver masks to residents in 16 different cities around greater detroit as depicted in the figure below.
With an astounding figure of 1,445 masks delivered, the program closed request forms on Sunday, June 12th. During its run, the program impacted over 1,072 people and reached 747 people on facebook. The visits on the facemasks page our mYeBEAT website alone was 1,423 visits and the program was promoted by three different government officials on their facebook. The programmed helped a variety of people from all kids of backgrounds during these trying times as seen from the requests received:
“My Dad has a drain in his abdomen to relieve the fluid that builds on that area. My sister have to work and we try our best to clean up before getting too close, but he is at a greater risk!”
“I travel 2 hours up north to take care of my mom. She was released from the hospital in May and now has home therapy. I seem to go thru quite a few masks with Dr visits,, taking care of Mom as well as my daily shopping and errands for my family. Thank you so much for doing this!”
“To protect myself and my family from the virus. My mom has heart disease and diabetes so she does not leave the house. I have to go to work still as I am considered essential (truck driver) so I do not want to bring anything home to her or my other home members. Thank you”
“We’re not going out much, only for grocery stores & walks.. I’m a post cancer patient & I haven’t met any family or friends since the pandemic started since I’m at a higher risk to catch anything (& I don’t plan to any time soon), but I’d appreciate a couple of masks if available… Thanks for your efforts”
“I have lupus and immune suppressed diseases. Doctor appts tomorrow and next week! Husband does grocery shopping and disinfecting prescriptions and food. We are both seniors!”
“I drive a public bus and although it’s been told masks are being provided it’s not true, I’m almost out of my own and have ordered some from Amazon but not expected to arrive until August. Please provide me with at least a dozen to get me through 2 weeks of work”
And the feedback we received from the community was amazing:
“Thank you so much myebeat after a 10 hour day of driving that bus you made my day. I actually took my mask off when I got to my car and looked at to see if it would be good for another shift. With a big sigh of relief I thank you”
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!…you are all wonderful!
God Bless You All”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness!”
“My son had a Kidney Transplant in August 2019, my Mother is 91 years old, I am 62 years old. Thank you so much!”
We are very honored to have been able to positively impact our community, but it couldn’t have been possible without the help of our group of 20 dedicated volunteers. Each of whom helped deliver masks to each address, so that the program would be free to all and helped organize the deliveries and requests to make the process as smooth as possible. Most members of our team were youth in the community itself.
Check out our summary video we created!