Free face masks for Yakima families, businesses

Yakima-area organizations team up for mask giveaway

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce is giving away free face masks to community members and local businesses.

On Thursday, the chamber distributed free reusable and disposable face masks to more than 300 cars at its drive-thru mask giveaway at 10 N. Ninth St. in Yakima. At the second giveaway on Friday, people came hours early to pick masks up.

“I think we take it for granted that masks are available everywhere, but a lot of us … if you’re short on cash or you’re on a budget, they’re a little hard,” said Verlynn Best, President and CEO at the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an added expense that we just don’t need right now.”

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Volunteers spent hours putting together bags of masks for individuals, families and community members.  Individuals and families received 50 disposable masks and 10 reusable masks, while businesses received 100 to 150 disposable masks and 25 reusable masks.

Best said a collective of women called the Mask Ladies donated 527 homemade reusable masks for children. She said that’s an important resource because children’s masks are often hard to find.

“What a wonderful gift that was to the children in our community,” Best said.

The event was held in partnership with the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Yakima County Development Association. The team hopes to help small business owners protect themselves, employees, customers and their families during the pandemic.

Best said they plan to hold another mask giveaway on a Thursday and Friday in February. However, Best said if someone missed out on this event or can’t make the one next month, all they need to do is call the chamber at 509-248-2021.

“Call the chamber, make an appointment, we’ll get masks to you; we promise,” Best said. “We want a healthy community and we want to be open.”