In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, his charitable organization, the FreeWishes Foundation, has been making protective masks for health care workers, patients, and minority communities who don't have access to them easily. In a new interview with Complex, members of the organization have set the number of masks made by the organization — founded by his sister and mother, with a team of more than 500 — at more than 100,000. Easily.
In March, Future and the FreeWishes Foundation announced the "Mask On" campaign after realizing that so many people were without the basic protective tool that could save their life — especially the people on the front line facing the disease every day.
“We started seeing stories about doctors saying they had to reuse their masks, and then some were getting infected because they didn’t have the proper equipment," Abesi Manyando, FreeWishes's Communications and Brand Strategist told Complex. "At first, we were thinking, could we order masks from somewhere? But there were absolutely no masks available—not the specific ones that the healthcare workers needed.”
The organization set out to make a difference and provide those masks, and they believe that they've easily reached more than 100,000 people. “Some orders that we have, we provided 5,000 masks and then 3,000 here, another 500 there," Manyando said. "We’ve certainly reached hundreds of thousands of people.”
With backing from Future, T.I., New York Knicks player Reggie Bullock and more, the FreeWishes Foundation is set to continue its journey and provide to not just medical personal and infected patients, but essential workers too. "We're going to give all the bus drivers from MARTA, which are the Atlanta bus drivers, masks so that they can be protected and then they're not getting infected and exposing people who ride the bus," Manyando said.
MTV News recently spoke to Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey, an emergency physician in New York, about why it's so important to wear a mask right now, which the Centers for Disease Control recommend right now. "We're really only testing people who we basically know have it," Sutton-Ramsey said. "But we also know this coronavirus is moving around the community in asymptomatic carriers who are transmitting it to those who are vulnerable, who are then getting sick and then placing stress on the health care system. So the goal of wearing the mask is to prevent the transmission of those asymptomatic infections."
For the full story about Future's FreeWishes Foundation, check out the Complex interview link up above.