North Loop Man Giving Away Masks, Hopes To Get More
UPDATE 4/1: Reza and Kerry have a new name for their effort, “Keep The North Loop Safe,” and they WILL allow the general public to buy a mask ($30 minimum donation) but their priority is giving them away for free to first responders. They have already ordered 2,000 more but are finding that the Chinese companies are now charging more than they did for the first shipment, so the importance of individual donations has risen.
As the owner of a projector company, Miroir USA, which manufactures its products in China, North Loop resident Reza Aghelnejad has connections overseas that helped him buy a shipment of 2,000 KN95 protective face masks that he’s giving away to healthcare workers and first responders.
He’s also hoping the community will chip in to buy at least 5,000 more which he can offer to others in the North Loop for their own safety.
“The shortage kind of baffles me,” he said. “This is not the time to look at the politics. It’s how do we get the masks for the people who need them most?”
While the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted Aghelnejad’s business, and his wife, Kerry LaBrie, had to shut down her new business, the Glam Garage, three weeks after it opened, they said they aren’t feeling sorry for themselves; they’re focused on the health of the community.
He spent $3,000 to get this first shipment which he’s donating, and he’s hoping to raise donations and use his connections to buy thousands more. “A $30 donation will buy 15 more masks,” he said. “I’m not trying to make any money from the masks, but if anybody wants to make a donation with check, cash or Venmo, we’d love to do that so we can bring more masks to help the community.”
He will be giving away masks to healthcare workers and first responders in the North Loop from 10AM – 2PM Wednesday through Friday at Glam Garage, 801 North Washington Avenue, Unit 114. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-297-6841.