What started as an idea in the office of Trademark Licensing to make use of a stockpile of unlicensed shirts turned into a substantial donation of face masks for local health care professionals.

Each year, the office of Trademark Licensing collects counterfeit Fresno State shirts being illegally sold at or near athletic events. About 300 such shirts had been confiscated or turned over in recent years. In addition, the office partnered with the Fresno State Athletics Department and Kennel Bookstore to gather about 600 more shirts that were surplus and could be repurposed into masks.

From the 900 total shirts, about 3,000 masks are being produced by community volunteers who are cutting and sewing the material. Due to the high demand and low supply of elastic and ribbon, material from the shirts is being used for face coverings and ties.

The initial donation of 500 masks will be delivered by TimeOut and others to Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 8, to help protect those on the frontlines of health care. Thanks to a partnership with Port of Subs, the group will also deliver 500 sandwiches for hospital personnel.

“The community has always shown support for Fresno State, and the University tries to reciprocate that support, especially in a time of need,” said Clarence Chiong, Fresno State’s Trademark Licensing coordinator. “This is one way we want our health care heroes locally to know that their efforts to slow this virus and heal our community are not going unnoticed.”

Future mask donations will be spread around to some of the University’s other health care partners and other organizations with essential workers.