With Illinois National Guard soldiers facing duties overseas during the Coronavirus Pandemic all soldiers are required to wear face masks.

There is a collection effort underway for Bravo Company of the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry, to ensure all soldiers have masks when on base in the Middle East. Residents are asked to make masks, preferably using earth tones like green, brown or black but whatever colors are available for donors is acceptable except for print patterns. The deadline for donations to the Effingham-based Guard unit is April 16 but check whether donations will be accepted past that date. Many donors have offered masks in batches of 20 sealed in bags.

“They are told to wear them on base to prevent the spread of the virus. They will also wear them in the dining halls to keep safe,” said Emma Qualls of the local National Guard Family Readiness Group. “We started this a few days ago and the response has been great. We will mail them to our guys so they can disperse them and share the rest with the entire battalion.”

The families of the Guard soldiers want to make sure they are safe while deployed. And the soldiers in turn want their families to remain safe in the United States so everyone in this region should practice social distancing and follow other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines against COVID-19.

Mail donations to:

Emma Qualls

1206 W. Temple Ave.

Effingham, IL 62401