Merrimack Valley Hope Mission Expands to Lawrence; Mask Distribution Nears 6,000

Some of the facial coverings created by the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission group of volunteers. (Courtesy photograph.)

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The Groveland-based Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, which recently added Lawrence to its service area, has now distributed nearly 6,000 of its volunteer-created masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mission founder Joseph D’Amore, a guest Thursday on WHAV’s morning program, says since the mask sewing project began, it has handed out more than 5,800 masks—and all given away for free.

“So far we’ve distributed, quite a few, over 1,000 masks to Haverhill and 2,000 or 3,000 masks to the Pentucket towns and Newbury and Newburyport. It’s been good,” he explains.

D’Amore says his “sewing angels” are adjusting to changing conditions, such as when Gov. Charlie Baker makes an announcement

“Based on what the governor rolled out just last week, if we do look at the four phases in three weeks, hopefully for each phase, I think we’re going to be in business at least through the end of August, where demand for masks will continue. We’ve also expanded into pediatric masks. Part of the governor’s order was very specific about children. He’s very concerned, as we are. There are younger children that do need to see their doctor for vaccinations. There are younger children who can not skip their required physicals, so we decided to have several of our sewing angels produce a variety of sizes and types of what we call pediatric masks, and that’s been a very busy component of our project,” D’Amore says.

In addition to the mask making, D’Amore says, the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is also continuing with its original project of addressing food insecurity. It is working with Common Ground Food Pantry on Winter Street in Haverhill, providing lunches and donated food items. Donations for mask-making materials are still being accepted. Information may be found on Merrimack Valley Hope Mission’s Facebook page.

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