Wednesday’s Warrior: New Haven native provides thousands of facemasks for local students & families

Wednesday's Warrior

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Born and raised in New Haven, Rodney Williams has made it his life’s mission to give back to his community.

 “I grew up here. I got to give back,” Williams said.

Since the pandemic hit, he’s been working to provide a layer of protection for the people of the Elm City.

“We started giving masks away…I started in Newhallville. We did Fairhaven Junta, we did 9,500 masks there. We did Waverly over by Yale.”

That’s just to name a few! With the help of local businesses and volunteers, Rodney has been able to hand out thousands and thousands of masks.

“When people come up to me, telling me they have one, two, three kids, I’m not giving them two, three masks, I’m giving them 10 masks per kid,” said Williams.

As the New Haven Public Schools system geared back up for in-person learning, Rodney was there to give students the latest and greatest school accessory. You guessed it: masks!

“It’s about safety,” Williams added.

His efforts touch each walk of life, but Rodney has a strong passion for helping the Black community, especially the youth.

“I didn’t get to where I got myself, there were people who put a lot of time into me.”

Most recently, on March 1, his 55th birthday, this warrior made a pledge.

“I told the barber that I’m going to pay for 55 kids from the Newhallville, Dixwell community to get a haircut. And right now, we are still trying to fulfill that 55,” Williams said.

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