Home News Local News Entrepreneur donates face masks in Roswell

Entrepreneur donates face masks in Roswell

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Lisa Dunlap Photo Thomas Wilson, owner of Rugged Trade, standing at right, hands face masks to Mark Green of Harvest Ministries Thursday at the offices of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp., which coordinated the donation to the local nonprofit to provide to the homeless and others in need. From left are RCCEDC board chair Bud Kunkel and Harvest Ministries employees Kara Martinez and Maria Nease.

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A clothing and apparel retailer planning to open a location in Roswell is donating cotton face masks to local organizations.

Rugged Trade LLC, started by Thomas Wilson, sells clothing and accessories aimed at “blue-collar” workers, people who work in oil fields or trade industries, and others who consider themselves “rugged” in attitude and style.

The company has locations in Artesia and Carlsbad and plans to open a store on North Main and West Walnut streets in July.

On Thursday, it made its first donation of 800 masks to Roswell groups, including Options Home Care, Avamere of Roswell, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico, the Roswell Fire Department and the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp.

The Economic Development Corp. decided to give the 300 masks it received to Harvest Ministries for distribution.

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Wilson also was planning to give hundreds of masks to organizations in Carlsbad and Artesia as well, and he plans to make the donations each Friday, including to the EDC.

The non-medical, two-ply cotton masks are also for sale on the Rugged Trade website and are being manufactured in Los Angeles, California, by a company that had been making T-shirts for the retailer.

EDC board member Bud Kunkel said that the group chose to give the masks to Harvest Ministries because of the population it serves.

“They are probably the most underserved segments of our community,” he said. “And I know that Mark Green could distribute them very quickly.”

Green, executive director of Harvest Ministries, said the masks would go to Harvest Ministries clientele, to local homeless shelters and to the other 14 community organizations that it works with regularly that serve community members in need.

“Some of our clients have been asking for them,” Green said. “We are very grateful to have them.”