The non-profit charity Professionals Empowering, Sustaining & Transforming (P.E.S.T.) Relief International is reaching out to the pest management industry to contribute to the massive need for masks for those who are caring for the sick during the COVID-19 pandemic. To become involved in the “Masks for Relief” program, you may either donate any style mask to P.E.S.T. Relief International, or make a financial donation to make this project a reality.
P.E.S.T. Relief International has volunteers on standby waiting to make up to 6,000 masks for distribution in the areas in greatest need. A donation of $6 will provide one washable and reusable mask with antimicrobial, triple-layer construction.
“We thank the pest control industry for its continued partnership in making a difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable,” says P.E.S.T. Relief International Founder Andrea Hancock, who is also president of Mattress Safe.
In an interview with PMP, Hancock explained how she became involved with the mask project. In a three-day period last week, she had been approached by several people concerned about a shortage of masks in healthcare.
“One of them worked in the healthcare industry and called me, crying, because she had a disposable mask that she had been using for three days. She was afraid to go back to work,” Hancock says. “She begged me to help her find a way to help others in the healthcare system. I remembered that Mattress Safe had some fabric that had been treated with antimicrobial properties, and I knew that there was additional stock in the warehouse.”
Hancock called Marty Jones, president of Prestige Pest Control, Pooler, Ga., and a board member of P.E.S.T. Relief International, both to see how his family was doing and to encourage him. She told him about the fabric.
“He expressed the desire to coordinate a mask donation drive, and ask other PMPs to donate what small inventory of masks they might have for us to send to the healthcare workers who so desperately need clean masks,” she says. “I told him about my friend who called me crying, and how I was trying to determine a way to make masks as well. So, together we created Masks for Relief to invite the pest control industry to join together to bring comfort and relief to those in need through the distribution of these masks.”
P.E.S.T. Relief International has been making a difference since its beginnings in 2013. Among its most recent projects are donating bed bug service to a local family in need in Atlanta, Ga.; providing clean bedding and more to a youth shelter in Denver, Colo.; helping residents of a Salvation Army shelter in Atlanta; and co-piloting a REST program in Florida, to name just a few.