Sumter Cares Masks Fund kicks off to help local public school students and teachers


The first week of a new fundraiser brought in money that will be put toward donating masks to Sumter's public school students and staff, and there is plenty more time to help fill the need.

Alice Drive Baptist Church, Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, former state Sen. Phil Leventis and other community members formed the Sumter Cares Masks Project to do their part and encourage others to help the Sumter community fight the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. About every $2 donated will help put a cloth "Sumter Cares" masks in the hands of a student or school district employee.

Similar to The Sumter Item's Fireside Fund and Summer of Caring, members of the public can drop off checks at our office or mail them, and we will collect them for the Sumter Cares Steering Committee. Alice Drive Baptist Church has set up a nonprofit to manage this fundraiser.

Donors can write the check in honor of someone, and The Sumter Item will list the donors, honorees and amounts each Wednesday, just like we do for the Fireside Fund.

All donations are tax deductible, and we will issue a receipt.

Masks are being ordered through Zebra Custom Designs, a Sumter-based T-shirt printing, embroidery and signs and banner store. One mask costs about $2, and funding will also be used to purchase bags so the masks can be packed and presented individually. The masks are cotton and washable.

Donations last week as of Tuesday, Sept. 22: Charles and Suzanne Fienning, in honor of the Rev. Dr. Ralph Canty, $250.

Total donated this week: $250

Total donated: $23,173