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Northwood student distributes masks on a large scale

Quy-An “Q” NguyenLe is a junior at Northwood School in Lake Placid. (Provided photo — Northwood School)

LAKE PLACID — A Northwood School junior has enlisted her relatives in Vietnam and established The Mask Hub, a project to provide cloth masks to North Country residents and second-line essential workers such as grocery store workers, food workers and police personnel.

Quy-An “Q” NguyenLe says her goal is to minimize the competition that has formed between medical facilities and non-medical facilities over the already limited supply of disposable surgical masks.

“Originally, this project started from a personal need: My family found it difficult to find face masks to wear when out in public,” she said in a press release. “I realized that my family was one among the millions of others facing this widespread issue that plays a critical role in containing the spread of COVID-19. Since this is an issue that impacts the health and safety of everyone, I decided that I needed to do something.”

Q knew her extended family in Vietnam was making millions of cloth masks for people in Vietnam, Japan and Singapore. She shared with her parents her idea to provide washable face masks, like the ones her aunt produces, to second-line essential workers in the United States. Thus the Mask Hub was born.

The masks are manufactured in Vietnam by Thao Uyen Co LTD, Q’s aunt’s facility, and being shipped here.

The Mask Hub, started by a Northwood School student, is distributing these face masks from Lake Placid. (Provided photo — Northwood School)

These masks will be tested and certified, reusable 3-ply cloth, as opposed to handmade and disposable options.

Q’s “Masks for All” goal is to distribute a minimum of 100,000 masks to the residents, charities, organizations, associations, municipalities and businesses in the North Country. She is starting with a donation of 5,000 masks to the village of Lake Placid to distribute to residents. These masks will also be distributed to other regions of the North Country, following further communication and discussion surrounding logistics and shipping dates.

Masks will also be sold, although sales are essentially donations to a new nonprofit organization started by Q’s mother Kathy NguyenLe and other family members to support COVID-19 recovery, education and ongoing work to distribute the masks. One Globe Foundation Inc. was officially filed as a nonprofit corporation by the New York secretary of state Wednesday.

Q is also working to support the fundraising efforts of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Adirondack Foundation Special and Urgent Needs (SUN) fund.

“We are proud of Q and thankful for the support of her family to help meet the demand for protective face masks here in our region,” stated Michael Maher, head of school at Northwood. “Our faculty and a team of volunteers are with her on this, from teaching entrepreneurial skills, helping identify potential organizations, businesses, municipalities and schools in need of the masks, and managing logistics and distribution.”

The Mask Hub, started by a Northwood School student, is distributing these face masks from Lake Placid. (Provided photo — Northwood School)

For more information on The Mask Hub, visit www.themaskhub.org. If a municipality, business or organization would like to receive, donate or donate with purchase, contact Tom Broderick, associate head of the Northwood School, at broderickt@themaskhub.org.

About the face masks

¯ Tested and certified by an independent laboratory.

The Mask Hub, started by a Northwood School student, is distributing boxes of face masks from Lake Placid. (Provided photo — Northwood School)

¯ Antibacterial, washable, water-repellent, breathable, UV resistant, durable and reusable.

¯ Designed for comfort and coverage.

¯ Three layers: outside (100% polyester), middle (65% polyester and 35% cotton), and inner layer (65% polyester and 35% cotton).

¯ Five sizes: small, medium and large, and extra-small and extra-extra-small by request.

¯ Manufactured in a facility with over 20 years of experience in apparel exports to the U.S., with a superior reputation for quality control, cleanliness and safety.

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