By Erik Runge, WGN
People lined up for hours on the Far South Side to get a free mask Sunday, as state and local leaders gave away 6,500 masks to anyone who wanted one.
While it will soon be mandatory to wear a face covering or mask in public places, many don’t yet own one as supplies have been limited.
Local leaders purchased 1,500 masks to give away, and an additional 5,000 were a gift from Willie Wilson. The businessman and community activist says he’s given away at least $1 million since the pandemic began and he plans on giving away a lot more.
Wilson joined State Representative Nick Smith, Alderman Anthony Beale and several other volunteers at the Pullman Community Center to pass them out.
“You see there is a need, there is a desperate need, and people have been waiting for two-and-a-half hours to get a basic mask,” Beale said.
This article originally appeared on WGN.