The Port Jefferson Rotary Club joined other Long Island-based rotaries to help people in need of masks earlier this month to gather and distribute masks to people who need them in their local communities.
In a campaign called The Million Mask Challenge — originally created by Rotary International — the Port Jeff Rotary joined 40 other rotaries from district 7255 to gather their share of masks. The goal is to distribute a million masks to those in need worldwide.
According to Bob Huttemeyer, program coordinator of the rotary, the district that includes Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens, gathered in Hicksville on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to pick up almost 4,000 masks. They also ordered 5,000 more.
Huttemeyer said that as of right now, they distributed the masks to 24 different local organizations and groups who could use extra masks.
“Everyone was excited to fill a need,” he added. “We were happy to bring this to the local community.”
The rotary, like the others across the island, devote their time and services to helping the community. Huttemeyer said that throughout the pandemic, they raised more than $12,500 to donate to Open Cupboard Food Pantry.
“If there’s more to be had,” he said, “We’re there to help.”
Huttemeyer said that the local rotary is an organization that brings so much to the community and will continue to gather and distribute masks to meet the one-million mark. He added that are always looking for new members or donations.
Right now, the Port Jefferson Rotary is holding small, in-person and hybrid meetings at Café Spiga in Mount Sinai on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m.
To make a donation to the Port Jefferson Rotary, you can mail a check to PO Box 461, Port Jefferson, NY, 11777 or visit portjeffrotary.org.