Masks Take a Pacific Journey to Salem

Three uniformed firefighters wearing masks in front of boxes of masks.

A long-distance gift will soon help protect thousands of people in Salem from COVID-19.

The City of Salem received an in-kind donation of 20,000 face masks from Gimhae, South Korea. The shipment of masks made the 5,304-mile journey to Salem on August 17, 2020.

Salem Fire Foundation organized the transport through international customs and assisted the City in delivering the pallets of masks to the Salem Fire Department. Gimhae City officials, including Mayor Heo Seong-gon, were instrumental in organizing the secure receipt of the masks and were eager to share the safe delivery with their community.

"It is my hope that our donation from Gimhae may help Salem recover swiftly from the COVID-19 Pandemic," said Gimhae Mayor Heo Seong-gon. "We are especially concerned and thankful for front-line workers and health care professionals. Although we are far away, I will continue to pray for the people of Salem as we work together to reduce the spread of this virus."

Gimhae and the City of Salem have been friends since 1997 when they were introduced as part of the Sister Cities International program.

"On behalf of the City of Salem, I am honored to accept the generous gift of 20,000 protective masks from the City of Gimhae," said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett. "This donation is a demonstration of our ongoing friendship with the City of Gimhae as well as a testament to their neighborly spirit."

The City of Salem plans to use the masks as needed for first responders, community organizations and the City at large.

For more information about the City of Salem's COVID- 19 response or to request masks for your non- profit organization contact [email protected]