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One Million Free Masks: Local company offers to help residents comply with proposed MKE Cares ordinance

Rebel Converting has offered the materials to make 1 million more masks to be distributed to residents in need if the city passes a mandatory mask ordinance.

The Milwaukee-area company has already given away millions of masks to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In a letter to the Milwaukee Common Council and Mayor Tom Barrett, Rebel Converting owner Michael Kryshak offered to provide the materials for free to produce one million disposable masks and help the city find volunteers to assemble them.

“We fully support Milwaukee legislation to mandate face coverings in public places,” Kryshak wrote. “We want to make sure that affordability for low-income residents is not a barrier to anyone helping stop the spread of the disease in the community and complying with the requirement.”

Kryshak previously launched the MaskUpMKE initiative, which worked with hundreds of organizations using almost 3,000 volunteers to make and distribute nearly 3 million masks to over 550 organizations.

“We want to make sure that affordability for low-income residents is not a barrier to anyone helping stop the spread of the disease in the community and complying with the requirement,” added Kryshak. “Covid has disproportionately taken its toll on Milwaukee’s poor and communities of color. This is another area where we see racial and social- economic disparities that must be addressed.”

Kryshak asked the city to help find additional volunteers to assemble the masks and to work with other businesses and city resources to procure and distribute reusable masks “so that there will be no obstacles in Milwaukee to masking up.”

The Milwaukee Common Council is expected to vote on a proposal for a mask ordinance this week. A mask ordinance is supported by 130 restaurants and other businesses. Rebel Converting, Kryshak’s Saukville-based firm, converts giant rolls of advanced nonwoven fabrics into small rolls that fit inside standard sanitary wipe canisters.

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