When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit Revere, MACIR (Moroccan American Connections in Revere) switched gears from an organization that helps integrate the growing Moroccan American population in the city of Revere to becoming one of the leading producers of masks and face coverings to help people stay safe during the pandemic.
After producing over 20,000 masks for the City of Revere and its employees MACIR recently dropped off another 12,000 to Revere Public Schools.
“When the pandemic started we were looking into ways to help the community,” said MACIR director Rachid Moukhabir. “One of our board members, Blanca Bedoya, is a local tailor and fashion designer and we really liked the design of the masks she was producing and thought we could use her talents to help the community.”
Using $1,500 from its fund Moukhabir said MACIR purchased a couple of sewing machines and fabric and MACIR quickly produced 2,000 masks in a week.
“Then we began recruiting people to help us make masks and soon we were up to 20,000 masks for the city and 12,000 masks for Revere Public Schools,” said Moukhabir.
The group was able to expand through crowdfunding and grants from several organizations.
“I really appreciate the other groups that are helping us like the Revere Emergency Response Team, Revere Works and some collaboration with Revere Cares,” said Moukhabir. “We started serving the Morocaan community here but we are very happy to see our organization grow and serve the community at-large during this crisis”
Moukhabir said each mask costs nearly $2 to make so the production and donation of masks to Revere Public schools wouldn’t have been possible without financial help from groups like the Boston Foundation, Revere Raise Up and Revere residents that donated time and money to the cause.
“We are very happy and it has been a wonderful journey,” said Moukhabir. “It is our way to give back to a community that has embraced our organization.
Moukhabir the production of masks has stopped but MACIR has started another project for Revere Public Schools.
“The new project is part of our IT program,” he explained. “Once our IT students graduate they will begin refurbishing computers and Chromebooks that we will donate to Revere Public Schools.”
Revere Public School Superintendent Dr. Dianne Kelly thanked MACIR for their support once again.
“Rachid Moukhabir and his team are great partners to the School Department,” she said.
MACIR was established in 2016 to help integrate the growing Moroccan American population in the city of Revere, MA, estimated to be at least 10 percent of the Revere’s population. MACIR runs youth activities that focus on culture and Arabic language learning in addition to the yearly street festival to promote diversity and inclusion in the city of Revere and beyond. The group also organizes youth special programs such as the Youth City Council to civically engage immigrants’ kids at a younger age. MACIR has been organizing a yearly soccer tournament to raise a $1000 scholarship for Revere High School called the Bob Haas-MACIR scholarship.