CINCINNATI, Ohio — With the returns of school during a pandemic comes many changes. Some schools are going back in person and requiring students and teachers to wear masks.

What You Need To Know

  • Matthew 25 Ministries is giving away PPE to students and teachers

  • In the first two days, over 3,500 kits were handed out

  • The kits included masks and hand sanitizer as well as coloring books for students and face shields for teachers

  • The giveaway continues the rest of the week for any teacher or student in the area. All teachers must show their ID and students must be present

​​As students and teachers prepare to go back to school this month, many are in need of PPE. And that’s where Matthew 25 ministries comes in. They’s already served 3,500 people ahead of the school year just this week.

As the Ohio Department of Health issued an order requiring face coverings in the classroom for all students K-12, the reality of this school year will be wearing a mask.

“It kind of got to the point where we realized a lot of schools would be going back in person, we just decided kind of what we’ve been doing anyway; we wanted to help the teachers, anyone that works at a school and also the kids going back so that they can feel safe while going back," said Tim Mettey, the CEO of Matthew 25 Ministries.

Matthew 25 Ministries has seen lines down the road each day this week for the giveaway. The organization said that indicates there’s a real need for more PPE.

“It goes to show that people are still desperate in need because they get supplies and they go through those supplies," Mettey said.

For teacher and mom Laura Gunn, it saves her time trying to find these supplies for herself and her two boys.

“Knowing that some of these supplies can be provided for us, that I don’t have to go out and find them or search for them and things like that also helps alleviate some of the thought process in this especially being a teacher and having kids that are going back in person as well," Gunn said.

Teachers waiting in line say they’re especially grateful for the giveaway and support of the community.

“It’s definitely a blessing to know that the community is looking out for us, that we have the support of everybody here to make sure things are going to go the best that they possibly can," Kathryn Holcomb a fifth and sixth grade teacher said.

Matthew 25 Ministries is handing out kits for every student in each car as well as every teacher that shows their ID badge. All kits include masks and teacher kits even includes a face shield. 

“It’s all these front line workers and it’s not just the medical professionals that we need to take care of, but it’s all these people," Mettey said. "And it’s just a wonderful thing. And the teachers are so happy because some of them are asked to get their own supplies.”

While there’s differing opinions on whether to go back to school in person or not, many of these teachers and students don’t have a choice. But they’re hopeful that by using this PPE, it’ll make a big difference for them when they do go back to the classroom.

“I have days and moments where I’m ready to go and then other moments where I’m like 'O I don’t know about this.,'" Gunn said. "But you know, all of us are in this together and if everybody’s on board with things and if everyone’s just trying to help out, then we got this, we’ll be fine.”

The giveaway continues Thursday and Friday at Matthew 25 Ministries in Cincinnati.