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Three Black companies donate 20,000 masks to Indy youth

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COVID-19 has presented challenges beyond what many of us could have imagined during its initial onset in March. And though months have gone by and uncertainties about the pandemic remain, many companies throughout the country are going above and beyond to assist others.

J2 Medical Supply, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors of personal protective equipment, is doing just that.

Recently the minority-owned medical supply company partnered with the Indianapolis Recorder and InnoPower to donate over 20,000 masks to area schools and nonprofits.

“The founders of J2 Medical Supply are strong advocates for education,” said Demaree Faulkner, Indiana Territory Manager. “We wanted to make sure that we helped students during these challenging times. It’s difficult enough trying to learn during a pandemic. We wanted to make sure local students are equipped with safe, FDA-approved high-quality masks while they are learning in person.”

The trio donated the masks to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and The Mind Trust. IPS is the state’s largest public school district. The Mind Trust, an education nonprofit recently invested $200,000 to area churches and organizations to create Community Learning Sites, which are safe, no-cost facilities that provide eLearning support and other enrichment activities to students. Both IPS and the Community Learning Sites serve vulnerable populations whose families have limited resources.

“The Mind Trust is humbled by the generosity of J2, InnoPower and the Recorder. These three entities — all led by local Black males — are wonderful examples of how the community can come together in the spirit of giving during times such as these,” said Lauren Peterson, senior director of Community  Engagement at The Mind Trust. “We have already distributed masks to the Community Learning Sites and the students as well as the site leaders are overjoyed! ”

J2 Medical Supply, co-founded by retired NFL player Roland Williams, served as sponsor of the recent InnoPower Minority Business Conference. The Recorder was also a sponsor. The three formed yet another partnership for the mask donation.

“As we continue to work to create opportunities for minority businesses and professionals across our city, state and other parts of the world, it’s exciting to provide resources that will impact our community for the better. I was incredibly excited to partner with the Recorder and my fellow entrepreneur and former teammate on this endeavor,” said Emil Ekiyor, founder of InnoPower and former NFL player.

Recorder President and CEO Robert Shegog said helping vulnerable communities is something that is very much needed.

“As we work to overcome the economic, academic and health challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, now, more than ever, collaboration is needed to ensure the greatest impact for the community,” said  Shegog. “Joining forces with J2 Medical Supply and InnoPower was necessary toward ensuring local residents — especially those who are often marginalized — have access to safe resources.”

J2 Medical Supply  offers a variety of cost-effective, FDA-approved Personal Protective Equipment including hand sanitizer, disposable gowns, face shields and customized masks. To learn more about the products, visit http://www.j2medicalsupply.com/shop/DF126 or call Demaree Faulkner at 317 -509 -9017.

The Indianapolis Recorder partnered with The Mind Trust and J2 Medical Supply to provide personal protective equipment to Community Learning Sites. Recorder President and CEO Robert Shegog looks on as a student receives help with his lesson. (Photo/Michael Prihoda)

InnoPower founder Emil Ekiyor looks on as a student does her school work at a Community Learning Site. (Photo/Michael Pirhoda)

Lauren Peterson, senior director of Community  Engagement at The Mind Trust, and Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust, watch a student complete her school work at a Community Learning Site. (Photo/Michael Pirhoda)

The Indianapolis Recorder partnered with The Mind Trust and J2 Medical Supply to provide personal protective equipment to Community Learning Sites. (Photo/Michael Prihoda)

The Mind Trust CEO Brandon Brown (l) and Recorder President and CEO Robert Shegog. (Photo/Michael Pirhoda)

The Indianapolis Recorder partnered with The Mind Trust and J2 Medical Supply to provide personal protective equipment to Community Learning Sites. (Photo/Michael Prihoda)

Robert Shegog, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Recorder; Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust; Emil Ekiyor, founder of InnoPower; Demaree Faulkner, J2 Medical Supply Indiana Territory manager. (Photo/Michael Prihoda)

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