WASHINGTON Washington National Cathedral is donating 5,000 respirator masks to two hospitals in Washington, D.C. – Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National Hospital – to help combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, with cases identified in Washington, and reflects the Cathedral’s role as “a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.” 

The masks were purchased more than a decade ago following a previous health scare. They were meant to allow clergy to provide pastoral care without putting their own health at risk. Forgotten about in the ensuing years, the masks were discovered recently during routine work in a storage area on the Cathedral’s crypt level. Seeing an opportunity to donate them to local hospitals in need of these kinds of masks, Cathedral officials immediately reached out to the manufacturer and the CDC to confirm they were still safe to use. 

On Wednesday, 13 boxes containing 3,000 masks will be delivered to Georgetown University Hospital, and nine boxes containing 2,000 masks will be delivered to Children’s National. The Cathedral will retain a small number of masks to facilitate in pastoral care needs. 

“In these difficult and trying times, the Cathedral community is doing everything we can to help protect the most vulnerable among us from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “We have made significant adjustments to our worship programs and made church services available for streaming online, and now we’re prepared to take this additional, proactive step to ensure thousands have access to protection that otherwise may never have been available to them.” 

In addition to donating the masks, Washington National Cathedral will also partner with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive on Friday, March 27, to benefit patients and practitioners at local collection sites. The blood drive will not be open to media, but is part of the Cathedral’s ongoing efforts to protect against coronavirus both in Washington as well as nationally and internationally. 

Tony Franquiz, 202-374-5393, [email protected]


About Washington National Cathedral Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.