CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Chesterfield elementary school teachers and staff are heading back into the classroom on Feb. 1, and a group of parents wants to make sure they are properly protected.
The Friends of Chesterfield Schools Coalition has started an online fundraiser to ensure teachers and staff have N95 masks while they teach and work in schools.
In just two days, they have raised more than $1,200 with a goal of raising $5,000.
“Chesterfield parents want to ensure that our teachers are as protected as they can be. Higher community case numbers and new COVID-19 variants mean our staff needs the most protective masks possible. Friends of Chesterfield Public Schools Coalition has purchased 2,600 CDC-approved N95 masks to distribute to CCPS employees,” the coalition wrote online. “We are setting an initial goal of $5,000 to cover the cost of the masks, and we will purchase more masks should donations exceed that amount.”
One CCPS family, who asked to remain anonymous, decided to front the cost of the initial 2,600 masks in order to get them to staff before school starts for elementary students Monday.
“If we didn’t get any money at all from anyone, or any support, would it be worth $5,000 to save one life? If this effort saved one teacher or one staffer’s life, the answer is yes,” the anonymous parent donor said.
The initial donation of N95 masks will provide 867 people with three masks each.
“This is not just for teachers, this is for staff, bus drivers, anyone that could be at risk, especially with the new variants that are in the United States,” the parent explained. “We are going to continue to purchase N95 masks and front that cost, as long as we can.”
The parent coalition says it has been in touch with at least one school board representative and spoke with leaders within the CCPS teaching community, to ensure there was support and a need before ordering the first shipment of 2,600 masks.
“They are really grateful,” said the parent.
In a statement to NBC12, CCPS says the school district has a “healthy” supply of PPE in its warehouse.
“Each week schools report their inventory of PPE on hand on Wednesdays and place orders as needed for replenishment, which usually takes place by Friday. These PPE items and supplies include hand sanitizer, masks (including N95), disinfecting and sanitizing wipes, face shields, gloves, and gowns.”
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