Christy McWhirter, a driver for Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools, set up an Amazon wish list so community members could donate cloth masks for her students to wear while on the bus. - Photo courtesy Christy McWhirter

Christy McWhirter, a driver for Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools, set up an Amazon wish list so community members could donate cloth masks for her students to wear while on the bus.

Photo courtesy Christy McWhirter

A school bus driver for Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools recently received an outpouring of support as she asked her community to donate masks for her students to wear amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, bus driver Christy McWhirter posted on a local community Facebook page, called Hip Donelson, asking for a bulk of cloth mask donations for the elementary school students she transports. In the post, McWhirter said she gives her students disposable masks to wear almost every day, but added that the masks often “wear out and rip to shreds.”

To make it easier for the community to submit donations, McWhirter told School Bus Fleet that she set up a public Amazon wish list where the community could directly purchase the masks for the students. Since creating the Facebook post and the wish list almost two weeks ago, McWhirter received nearly 300 mask donations, 150 of which were handmade by a member of the Donelson community, and another 80 of which were monogrammed with students’ names on them.

“I already passed out some of the masks, but this afternoon I’m going to pass out the monogrammed masks to my students.” McWhirter told SBF. “I want the students to feel like the mask are theirs and that they own them. I really want them to have something of their own, especially if it’s something that can help save their life.”

McWhirter added that the monogrammed masks will also come equipped with a lanyard so students won't lose them. McWhirter also said that she will distribute the masks in small bags decorated with quotes and sayings, such as “You are worthy” and “You are loved.”

As for the extra masks she received, McWhirter said some of those will go toward school staff members and the others will be passed out to students after they return from their holiday break, in case they may have lost their masks during that time.

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