The Conners Star Michael Fishman Helps Donate 500,000 Face Masks to Charities in L.A.
The actor has teamed up with retired Navy SEAL Sean Matson to hand out the face coverings
The Conners star, 39, has teamed up with retired Navy SEAL Sean Matson and his company MATBOCK to donate over 500,000 face masks to various charities and nonprofits in L.A.
"Starting in entertainment at 6 years old, I quickly realized the incredibly positive impact we can have in the world through charitable acts," Fishman tells PEOPLE. "When Sean mentioned he had masks, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to actively help and fight this pandemic."
Fishman continues, "At my organization WeComend, we are all about coming together to mend communities in need. I have been active with Covenant House for years, having briefly experienced homelessness in my late teens and I immediately knew the impact these masks could have." (The actor recently partnered with Michael Johnson to found WeComend, a community outreach charity working to provide resources to underprivileged communities.)
"Additionally, we are providing masks for domestic violence survivors, crime victims who have lost everything, educational institutions, and youth programs. This is a time to come together, uplift society as a whole and use the power of our voices for inclusion and togetherness," Fishman says. "All in all, through the sponsorship and generosity of MATBOCK, we plan to distribute over 500,000 masks into the community."
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Matson, who served with the Navy SEALS for 13 years, owns MATBOCK — a company that designs tactical gear for the government, military and law enforcement across the United States.
"We have over four million surgical masks in our warehouse in Kentucky, and I knew that California, especially the Los Angeles area, had been getting hit hard. I just had to help however I could," Matson tells PEOPLE. "I knew Michael was on the ground there in L.A. and would help get these masks out to the people that needed them most."
Among the charities receiving masks from Fishman and Matson are Covenant House; Meals on Wheels for Seniors; Orange County Justice Center; Orange County Mother Group; Hope International College; West Anaheim Medical Center; Domestic Violence Survivors Care Packages; Biola; University Nursing Department; Cypress College Health Science; and Crime Survivors Charity.
As promised, one of the first executive actions President Joe Biden signed was an order asking Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office. The order signed last Wednesday also requires that masks be worn on federal lands and within federal buildings.
On Sunday, L.A. County reported 8,243 new coronavirus cases (1,073,111 to date) and 89 new deaths (15,260 to date), according to L.A. Public Health.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.
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