SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - With north country schools set to hold in-person classes next month, a major expense are the masks and other safety precautions needed during the pandemic.
In Sackets Harbor, one family is giving the district a helping hand.
"I was pleasantly surprised and most gracious," Sackets Harbor superintendent Jennifer Gaffney said.
That was Gaffney's reaction when a family in the district donated a big chunk of money.
"We did a $5,000 donation," Rickey Martin said.
Martin is a contractor. When the pandemic hit, he found another way to make money -- by selling masks.
His family has now sold over 30,000 masks to people from Pennsylvania to Massena. They wanted to give some of that back to the district.
"It was a lot bigger than we expected, so we donated to the community," Martin said.
It wasn't just money the Martins donated. They also donated touch-less thermometers so kids can get their temperatures taken as they arrive to school.
“Kids can walk in the door and get scanned,” Martin said. “It’ll make it a bit easier.”
Making the school day easier is something Martin knows well. He's a father of four current students in the district, one soon-to-be Patriot, and one alum.
“I grew up in this building,” Patriots alum Kyler Martin said. “It means a lot to me, so I’m happy for the donation.”
Gaffney says the money is going toward a few things: software called ParentSquare, which parents will use to complete their childs’ weekly health screenings, a video to show what school will look like, and a box of disposable masks, will be used when needed most.
"The monetary donation, to the disposable masks to the thermometers, it's truly going to make a significant contribution to a successful reopening," Gaffney said.
It’s a reopening that is still subject to change based on state guidelines.