Volunteers go door-to-door delivering masks to every household in the city after mayor’s appeal for help
The mayor had done the impossible — he acquired face masks for everyone in the city. There was just one problem: How do you quickly distribute tens of thousands masks?
So, Mayor Paul Brodeur of Melrose, Massachusetts, put out the call for help.
A few days later, dozens of volunteers dressed in bright yellow vests went door-to-door safely delivering the masks to the city’s 28,000 residents.
“The speed at which people stepped forward and the diversity of the folks was humbling,” Brodeur said, which happened on Tuesday. “There were moms and dads with their families, older residents and everyone in between.”
Every resident received a paper bag filled with 4-5 masks, along with information on how to wear the masks properly as well as available mental health resources, according to Brodeur. “Advancing public health is our number 1 priority,” Brodeur said. “But (the masks) also let people know that we’re here for them.”
To ensure that the deliveries were being made safely, volunteers had their temperature checked beforehand. They also wore gloves and masks while making the deliveries.
Samantha Block, a 36-year-old social worker, was encouraged by her husband, Kyle, to volunteer. But when she received her supply of masks and the list of houses she had to deliver to, she realized that she had greatly underestimated the scope of the project.
“I thought it was going to be a couple of streets,” Block said. “I didn’t realize that we would be delivering to over 100 houses.”
But still, Block, her 6-year-old son, Levon, and 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett, trooped on, weaving through the neighborhoods with their pull wagon in tow to drop off packages in between people’s doors.
“It took us a little over two hours,” Block said. “We walked over four miles but the kids didn’t complain at all… We went home tired but happy.”
Block said she believed the mayor and the city were doing a great job responding to the pandemic, and volunteering was just a way for her family to pay it forward. “Being a part of something bigger than us and showing how we can help others is a way to keep our own hope alive for better times,” she said.
All Mayor Brodeur wanted to say to the volunteers was “thank you.”
“The folks already have so much to figure out right now, whether it’s loved ones they can’t see face to face, parents having to educate their children at home, or people worried about their own health,” he said. “But they stepped up and made a difference in their community.”