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Anglican Church distributes close to 400 masks in about three hours on Rankin Inlet

The spirit of the community was front and centre almost immediately after Rankin Inlet learned it had its first confirmed Covid-19 case when Rev. Jared Osborn and church member Randy Miller took to the streets to run the Holy Comforter Anglican Church mask distribution effort in Rankin this past week.

Miller said the Rankin church had a whole bunch of masks sent to Rankin earlier this year by the Send North ministry in co-operation with Samaritan's Purse, when the pandemic first started to break out in Canada.

Randy Miller talks to a passerby from his truck while taking part in the Holy Comforter Anglican Church mask distribution in Rankin Inlet this past week.
photo courtesy Jared Osborn

He said between 300 and 400 masks were sent by the ministry.

They're the reusable cloth-type masks, but there really wasn't the call for them here in the spring like there is now,” said Miller.

They also sent us a bunch of church Bibles and Inuktitut Bibles because they felt that maybe people would like to have those as well, especially during times like these when people really can't get out very much at all.

We still have a number of the Bibles available and we could probably drop them off safely to anyone who wanted them.”

Miller said shortly after everything was locked down in Rankin due to its first confirmed case of Covid-19, he saw a number of posts on Facebook from people in the community wondering where they could get a mask.

He said that led to him and Osborn having a talk about the situation.

You know, we had them so we wanted to distribute them but it probably wasn't a really good idea to use the church because then people would be coming in and out of the door and gathering inside.

I mentioned that I would be quite happy to hand the masks out through my vehicle window. He agreed, so then we set up a plan to make about five stops with me on one side of town and him on the other side of town.

So I posted it on Facebook and he got on the radio to announce it. We would call the radio station every time we moved to a new spot and that seemed to work pretty well. People seemed to be pretty happy about it.

We started at about 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon on Nov. 11 and we ran out of masks by 5 p.m. We did keep a few of them just for people who come to church and need a mask whenever we're able to open again.

It was amazing and I'm really pleased over how it went. I'm just grateful that we had something we could offer people and they were really happy to receive them.”