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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Submitted to the Texarkana Gazette / Texarkana Gazette.

The Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the community to participate in their #ImMaskingFor campaign.

This campaign is a continuation of the Chamber helping the community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign calls for everyone to post a picture or video of themselves on social media saying what they are masking for and why, then challenge someone else to do the same.

"This campaign was born from a conversation with a local hospital about the need for the community to wear a mask," said Natalie Haywood, director of events and communications for the Chamber. "The hospital mentioned to us they needed a champion to get the word out, and they looked to the Chamber to be that champion. We were happy to step in and come up with this idea," continued Haywood.

"Reducing the spread of COVID-19 requires everyone to participate in safe practices throughout our daily lives — every day, every time," said Jason Rounds, FACHE, President, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. "That is why we joined with Wadley Regional Medical Center and the Bowie County and Miller County Health Authorities recently to implore our community to adopt or continue safe masking practices. It is proven people wearing facemasks in public, social distancing by maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from others and practicing frequent hand hygiene reduces the spread of the virus."

The campaign kicked off last week with local business leaders posting their videos to Facebook and Instagram. "We're hoping for it to go 'viral' and that pun is intended," said Haywood. Anyone can participate, and the rules are easy.

1. Post a selfie photo or video in your mask and tell why you wear a mask.

2. Be sure to use the hashtag #ImMaskingFor

3. Tag Texarkana Chamber of Commerce

4. Nominate your friends to participate

The Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce is a private trade association focusing on community and economic development for the greater Texarkana region. The Chamber has been a community partner for over 100 years in Bowie and Miller counties. Information on the Chamber and the current campaign is available at 819 North State Line Avenue, Texarkana, Texas or 903-792-7191 or www.texarkana.org.

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