CHARLOTTE – A grassroots movement, CLTgivePPE, is addressing the shortage of personal protective equipment in local clinics and healthcare systems during the COVID-19 crisis.
The volunteer group has organized a city-wide PPE donation drive in partnership with Atrium Health, Novant Health and the Mecklenburg County Health Department. They are also accepting fabric donations for its volunteers that are making face masks and medical gowns.
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Goodwill Industries will reopen two Charlotte locations and provide staff to accept the donated PPE items from noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays, April 2 to 23, at Goodwill Opportunity Campus (5301 Wilkinson Blvd.) and Goodwill Ballantyne (16025 Lancaster Hwy.)
Dr. Sheila Natarajan, of Integra Rehabilitation Physicians, is the lead physician volunteer with CLTgivePPE. She said there’s never been such a shortage of N95 masks and personal protective equipment.
“Asking a healthcare provider to treat patients during this COVID pandemic without adequate PPE is the equivalent of sending a soldier into battle without armor. If you lose your soldiers to the disease, you lose the war,” Natarajan said.
The movement is also fundraising through GoFundMe to buy reusable respirator masks, which offer more protection to frontline workers than a surgical mask. An initial fundraising goal of $20,000 will allow the purchase of these masks at $7 each.
“The importance of our community rallying together to support our front-line workers is at a pivotal point in our fight against COVID-19,” said Elizabeth Star-Winer, trustee for Winer Family Foundation and community advocate volunteer. “The PPE donation drive can literally help to save lives with masks, gloves and gowns so our healthcare providers can focus on patient care.”
Visit Facebook or Instagram @CLTgivePPE, call 980-233-3900 or email CLTgivePPE@gmail.com for details.
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