Disney partners with nonprofit to donate 1M masks to underserved families

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Walt Disney Company has responded in a big way to the demand for masks, especially for young people during the coronavirus pandemic. It comes in the form of a donation of one million mask for communities in need.

Disney has made the donation to MedShare for distribution to kids and families at risk here in the Bay Area and across the country.

The brightly-colored cotton masks feature Disney favorites, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

"I think what we're doing with these masks," said Pat Salber, who is on the MedShare Board of Directors, "especially for kids and kids that might have to go back to school, these are really fun. It's not like putting on a blue surgical mask, this is putting on a mask with your favorite cartoon animal."

A nonprofit, MedShare distributes medical supplies and equipment to under-served communities around the world.

The partnership with Disney to distribute masks is an expansion of that effort.

RELATED: Disney debuts cloth face masks, will donate 1M to charity

Youth Alliance in southern Santa Clara County is among the organizations that will receive and distribute the brightly-colored cotton masks.

"So we'll be serving and providing masks to the farm worker population, immigrant community, Latinx and children specifically," explained Diane Ortiz, executive director of Youth Alliance.

The hope is the Disney masks will be especially effective with children, because they might be more likely to wear them, if they like them.

"I was in the grocery store this weekend and I wanted to try out the mask, and I had two little kids stop in the middle of the aisle and stare at me, smiling," said Ortiz.

After all, who doesn't need a reason to smile...during a difficult time.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.