Midstate organizations donate masks, supplies to hospitals, first responders amid COVID-19 crisis


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense turmoil, it has also brought out the best in several midstate organizations, that are donating much-needed supplies to first responders and hospitals.

Just as firefighters, police, EMS and healthcare workers are essential to our communities, so too is personal protective equipment for them while they care for a patient or answer a call.

“Home Depot contacted us two days ago and notified us that they had a donation for us,” said Lieutenant at the Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Department, Steve Goho.

That donation from the Carlisle Pike store was a load of more than 500 N95 respirator masks, which the township will distribute among first responders.

“The biggest part was, they didn’t care about the profit of what they would have made by selling those masks to the average consumer that would go there,” Goho said.

The department is also in need of sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, which they are using a lot right now.

“After every call, we wipe down every apparatus,” Goho said. “We are taking the chance of ourselves and putting ourselves at risk during this pandemic.”

At Messiah College, unused lab supplies are headed to UPMC Pinnacle, and with classes canceled, there’s plenty to give.

“We’re using virtual simulation [to teach] so we’re not using those supplies that were slated to be used this spring semester,” said Assistant Dean of Nursing, Kim Fenstermacher.

The nursing, biology, physical and occupational therapy departments all pitched in.

“We took a look at what we had and decided that out of our surplus, we’d be happy to give,” Fenstermacher said. “We all use gloves and masks and gowns in our labs.”

The donations are showings of support and care in what are unprecedented times.

“This is new, we’re all learning and if we don’t help each other, we will fail and we don’t wanna do that,” Goho said.

Some Messiah students and faculty are even volunteering their time at hospitals to help with non-COVID19 patients, to help alleviate the stress on staff.

If you have supplies you’d like to donate, call your local fire or police department — many are still open (not to the public!) and welcome your help.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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