by Adam Forgie
Friday, May 22nd 2020
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — WARNING: SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND THIS STORY OFFENSIVE
Mindy Vincent started the Utah Harm Reduction Coalition (UHRC) -- and ran it for seven months -- with her own credit card.
So, when news about her making and selling penis-themed face masks went viral, it's no surprise that Vincent considered it a "godsend."
So far, she's sold more than 11,000 "cockblock corona" masks, raising more than $100,000 -- all of it going to UHRC. Those who buy a mask are encouraged to take a picture of them wearing the masks and posting it on social media with the hashtag #ProjectPenisMask.
The masks quickly sold out, but Vincent was able to get more fabric to make more. So, why penises? Vincent says:
It kindly lets them know this is how I determine they are too close, kindly back the f*** up."
The money raised from selling the masks came at just the right time too. Vincent says funding for UHRC is set to run out at the end of September -- and this unexpected influx of cash means when it does, they won't have to shut down.
It's a godsend. A power greater than me did this and it saved UHRC."
Vincent says a chunk of the money will go to buying a new van for UHRC's mobile syringe exchange program, meaning they can help more people looking to overcome their substance abuse issues. The syringe exchange program also helps the public by keeping syringes off the ground so people don't step on them.
The task of making and mailing the masks was not easy. Vincent and her son are still quarantined at home, where Vincent says they've been working as many as 20 hours-per-day to get people their masks as fast as possible.
And they're mailing those masks all over the world. Vincent says:
They're huge in Germany, Brazil and Japan."
She joked that she wanted to buy a t-shirt which says "I'm huge in Japan" because, for her, it would actually be true.
Vincent says the reaction to the masks has overwhelmingly been positive. To those who may be offended by the masks, Vincent says:
They are cartoon penises. People need a sense of humor and they need love."
But, besides the money she raised for UHRC, it's the positive feedback Vincent has been getting that she says made the never-ending work worth it.
She says one woman who ordered a mask had COVID-19, and told her seeing her penis face masks online made her smile for the first time in months.