Local Men Raising Money For Face Masks

Two local men who found themselves getting bored during the stay-at-home order are trying to raise money to buy face masks to give to the community.

Scott Clay and David Barfell hatched an idea earlier this month – find a manufacturer who will sell them thousands of KN95 face masks, then give them away for free to the public.

“Pretty much, we got bored of sitting inside from the whole quarantine deal, so we got online and tried to find a manufacturer to get masks sent to the community,” Clay said. “We thought if we brought masks to the community, it would help stop the spread. So we started a GoFundMe page and we also have a Facebook fundraiser.”

Just within the past two weeks, the guys have raised $1,540 of their $20,000 goal.

They initially bought 1,000 face masks and sold 500 of them for $3 and donated the other 500 to nonprofit organizations and gave some to Kosciusko Community Hospital.

The cost of the masks are $2 apiece, Clay said. If they can raise their $20,000, they’ll buy 10,000 masks.

They have already reached out to several nonprofits and gotten a list of how many each place would want if they get the masks in. They also plan to contact first responders like firefighters and police once they get the mask shipment to see how they can help them, too, Clay said.

“We might just set up a little station at like a grocery store or just use some public location where people can come pick up one per person,” Clay said.

He said the $1,540 raised so far has already been used to purchase masks.

Any for-profit business who wants to buy face masks from the guys can do so for $3 a mask.

“We’ll sell them to businesses right above cost,” Clay said. “We’re not looking to make money from this, and any money we get goes directly back to purchasing more masks.”

Clay added that if anyone wants to make a big donation and distribute the masks on their own, their only request is that the masks be distributed only in Kosciusko County and primarily in Warsaw.

“I just want the masks to stay in my own community,” Clay said.

Clay had to close the retail store he owns in Elkhart due to the current health emergency, and Barfell owns Wolf Weld Cleaners on Lake Street.

Visit their fundraiser here.