The 100 Black Men Group of Syracuse says it has four basic tenets, and one is health and wellness. With that in mind, it has started a campaign to Syracuse to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.
“We know that our community is disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus,” said J.B. Mccampbell, a 100 Black Men member.
The group said marginalized communities don’t have the resources to stay healthy, so members pooled their own resources to hand out 500 masks to those who need them.
“A lot of the masks that people have are paper masks, and they are trying to wear this over and over,” said Mike Atkin, the sub-chair for 100 Black Men, “and a lot of mothers that might have four or five children can’t afford $5-10 masks.”
Stores are working with the group by allowing them to set up outside.
“We love to play our part and doing as much as we can as far as keeping everybody safe and everybody clean,” said Mohamed Abadi, one of the owners of Super Smart Saver.
In return, 100 Black Men is helping disinfect inside those stores.
“I think that is a great job, because a lot of people think coronavirus is not a serious virus,” said Jimmy, another Super Smart Saver owner.
One important message 100 Black Men is trying to spread: Don't go out in public without a mask.
“Educate, empower,” said Atkins.
There are five stores currently participating, and people say they are grateful for the gifts.
“So where it is we are welcome and needed, we going to our best,” said 100 Black Men Co-Founder Walter Island.
Members said they put their own money together and are currently receiving donations. If you want to donate, you can drop off money to 100 Black Men at 2610 South Salina Street.