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Contact: Natalie Parscher,, 614/545-3236


Columbus Foundation Donates 50,000 KN95 Masks to Local Organizations

Donation is part of larger collaboration with State, businesses in fight against COVID-19

Columbus, OH (April 29, 2020)— The Columbus Foundation today announced that it would be donating tens of thousands of KN95 masks to nursing homes, EMS workers, City and County Health Departments, and nonprofits.

The donation is part of a larger investment the Foundation made in 100,000 medical-grade masks. The State of Ohio is purchasing half of the shipment, which arrived today.

The first donation of approximately 5,000 masks will be made to nursing homes, where supplies are running perilously low since the facilities began testing every patient, per the State’s mandate last week. The nonprofit National Church Residences (NCR) will assist in determining the proper distribution to those facilities. NCR is leading a consortium of senior-focused agencies that have partnered to implement rapid turnaround COVID-19 testing across the region through the Post-Acute Regional Rapid Testing (PARRT) program, made possible in part by grant funding provided by The Columbus Foundation.

This generous and incredibly well-timed donation of masks will allow the PARRT program to support vulnerable seniors with mandated rapid testing, while providing crucial protection to our front-line workers,” said Mark Ricketts, CEO of NCR. “National Church Residences joins LeadingAge Ohio, Central Ohio Geriatrics, and Ohio Living in expressing our profound gratitude to The Columbus Foundation.

The remaining masks will be divided between Franklin County’s Emergency Management’s distribution system led by City and County officials to address the needs of EMS and other first responders, and the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, which will coordinate with its member organizations to provide high-risk nonprofit organizations with the high protection level masks.

“This gift of PPE from The Columbus Foundation can lead to lives being saved and the health of at-risk front-line workers being protected,” said Jeff Young, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “This is how we rally as a community, and it is truly impressive.”

This is truly a wonderful example of public-private partnership. It goes to show, yet again, that the Columbus community unites during times of need. We are proud to build this coalition to support those in our community who are on the front lines of fighting this disease.”


The masks were transported to a local distribution center operated by San Francisco-based clothing and accessory company, rockflowerpaper, the company through which the Foundation arranged the purchase of the masks. The company is donating labor and distribution assistance.

“I am so pleased to assist the Columbus community in this way,” said Katie Smith, proprietor of rockflowerpaper. “rockflowerpaper has only been operating in central Ohio for a few years, but we have come to really love the area. It’s both exciting and rewarding to contribute to the well-being of our front-line responders and community members during this challenging time.”

About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 individuals, families, and businesses that have created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and one of the top 10 largest community foundations in the United States.

April 29, 2020