Return to Headlines

United Way of the Capital Area Teams up with HanesBrands to Donate Masks to JPS

February 26, 2021

Ira Murray, Errick Greene, Tosha Taylor, Wilton Jackson
Dr. Ira Murray of the UWCA, (from left) JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene, Tosha Taylor of UWCA and Wilton Jackson, JPS Property Accounting Supervisor, each hold five-packs of facemasks produced by HanesBrands Inc. The masks will be distributed to students, teachers and staff at JPS schools.

As part of America's Mask Challenge, United Way of the Capital Area coordinated with HanesBrands Inc. to deliver152,500 reusable cloth masks for schools in the Jackson Public School District to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Challenge is a new initiative from United Way, the Business Roundtable, 182 CEOs from large American companies, and the CDC Foundation. The Challenge aims to deliver 200 million washable face masks to 40 million students, teachers, and staff in America's most under-resourced schools, averaging about five washable masks per person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cloth masks in schools can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, along with other mitigation strategies like hand-washing, social distancing and regular cleansing and disinfecting of frequently-touched surfaces, in schools and buses. The Challenge, which launched on December 9, is expediting mask delivery for the second half of the school year to help alleviate a mask shortage among students and staff.

As America continues to grapple with COVID-19 and the resulting health, economic and education fallout, United Way's focus has been on the disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable. One place to make a difference is through protecting students, teachers and school staff as schools pursue in-person instruction.

The masks will be made available to students, teachers, and staff across the Jackson Public School District. JPS began in-person learning on January 19. A major component of their Smart Restart plan is to ensure that scholars and staff are equipped with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to keep them healthy and safe.

"We are extremely grateful for our partnership with United Way and this generous donation by HanesBrands," said Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene. "This will go a long way in reinforcing our PPE supplies and minimizing the risk and spread of COVID-19 in our schools."

Dr. Ira Murray, President and CEO of United Way of the Capital Area said, "This support from HanesBrands will help ensure our most precious tenures – our children – have masks to help keep them safe and slow the spread. We urge other companies to join in this effort and take part in America's Mask Challenge."

HanesBrands, a leading global marketer of branded everyday basic apparel, is the first company to join the Challenge. Hanes has donated 25 million masks to the Challenge, which are now being distributed. As the Challenge gains traction, Hanes will produce the masks and coordinate with United Way on delivery.

Chris Fox, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility at HanesBrands Inc. notes, "United Way has led the way in helping our neighbors through the pandemic. We're pleased to support United Way's effort to help keep school children safe and healthy as they return to classrooms."

United Way of the Capital Area has been part of the effort to help communities cope with the health, economic and education fallout from COVID-19. United Way has donated over $150,000 to 20 community partners to help provide needed relief and support for families negatively impacted by this pandemic. This support includes distributing meals to public school students and their families, delivering personal protective equipment to underserved communities, and sponsoring in-home WiFi services to lower-income households with children enrolled in K-12 schools.

About United Way of the Capital Area (UWCA)

United Way of the Capital Area is driven by supporters like you who understand the importance of giving, advocating, and volunteering to improve education, health, and financial security for our neighbors in Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties.

We provide educational and asset-building opportunities for families because you choose to LIVE UNITED. Together, we can leverage our resources and relationships to transform communities throughout the capital area. With your help, we can continue our efforts to ensure everyone in our communities can receive a quality education, access tools to become financially secure, and lead a healthy lifestyle. For more information, please visit, follow us on Facebook @unitedwayofthecapitalarea and @UWCapitalArea on Twitter.

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world's largest privately-funded nonprofit. We're engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.