Masks for CT volunteers pack thousands of face masks at Belle Academy for Greater Waterbury, New Haven community

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, something beautiful has been happening this week at the Belle Academy of Cosmetology in Waterbury. Volunteers have been spending as many as 9 hours each for the last few days stuffing bags with face masks that’ll be given out to people in Waterbury and New Haven this weekend.

The bags will be passed out by a group called Masks for Connecticut, which was started by the former gubernatorial candidate, Bob Stefanowski, and his wife.

Judy Normandin, one of those volunteers said of the efforts, “I think it brings the community together and it’s a heartfelt day for us all because we’re all in it together.”

The volunteers are putting small piles of face masks into plastic bags. In all, they’re packing 50,000 free facemasks for people in Waterbury and 30,000 for people in New Haven. They are two cities hardest hit by COVID-19 in CT.

It’s also what fueled Judy and others to come out to help get the masks together. The goal is to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus infections in the state.

“Just giving it (masks) out more to the community might help that spread lessen a little,” Judy said.

“Very proud to be a volunteer,” said Donna Bugnacki.

“We’re helping out to save a life,” said Joseph Gelada, another volunteer.

Masks for Connecticut will distribute Waterbury’s face masks Saturday morning at Naugatuck Valley Community College from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. It’s first-come, first-serve.

NVCC is located at 750 Chase Parkway in Waterbury.

A New Haven giveaway event has not yet been established.

The owner of the Belle Academy of Cosmetology says this effort shows the best of Connecticut’s heart.

“We are doing amazing things here,” Cervellino said. “Their hearts are in the right place. We’re doing something special.”

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