Representative Josh Harder, the North Valley Labor Federation and in partnership with nearly a dozen other local elected officials are launching the Central Valley Personal Protective Equipment Initiative, a centralized relief effort to collect and deliver much-needed medical supplies to first responders and frontline health care workers in coordination with three local counties. The effort encourages individuals and businesses — especially dental and veterinary offices and construction companies — to donate essential supplies. These include masks, protective eyewear, surgical gowns, and gloves.
“This is an emergency and it’s time for everyone to pull together and get our health care workers and first responders the tools they need to protect themselves and our community,” said Rep. Harder. “Congress just passed a sweeping bill to get more PPE produced and delivered, but that takes time and we know a lot of folks already have these life-saving materials on hand. We can’t wait another day to get our frontline workers this vital equipment.”
“First responders and trained healthcare workers like nurses and respiratory therapists are critical to containing COVID-19,” said Tim Robertson, executive director of the NVLF. “This campaign will ensure they have the equipment they need to protect themselves and prevent further spread.”
The relief effort will include outreach to build public awareness of the need for supplies, collection including remote pickup and a local dropoff location, and distribution by county public health agencies based on capacity and need. The local effort is inspired by a nationwide campaign of the Service Employees International Union-United Health Workers that has recently uncovered 39 million N95 masks for distribution.
Locally, the NVLF is working alongside Rep. Harder to lead a bipartisan Central Valley coalition of local elected officials. Rep. Harder is coordinating efforts in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties, and Assemblyman Adam Gray is taking the lead in Merced County. In addition to Rep. Harder and Assm. Gray, the effort is supported by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers including U.S. Representatives Jim Costa and Jerry McNerney, State Senators Cathleen Galgiani and Anna Caballero, and State Assembly members Susan Talamentes Eggman and Heath Flora.
Items needed the most include:
· Masks (especially N95 respirators)
· Eye Protection (plastic face shields and especially non-ventilated goggles)
· Surgical gowns, shoe covers, and caps (disposable)
· Surgical gloves (disposable)
· Medical thermometers
· Antibacterial cleaning wipes
Donated items must be new or unused.
Donations can be dropped off at any of the times and locations below. Pick up for larger orders can also be arranged. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 209-259-3856 for more information or to schedule a donation.
Dropoff Locations and times (drive-through drop-off available):
MODESTO – Crosspoint Community Church, 1325 12th Street, Modesto (drive-through dropoff entry at the corner of Needham and 11th), 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
TURLOCK – Monte Vista Chapel, 1619 E. Monte Vista Ave., Turlock, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays
STOCKTON – Laborers Local 73, 3984 Cherokee Road, Stockton, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays
MERCED – Salvation Army Merced, 1440 W. 12th Street, Merced, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Pick-up is available for bulk donations from businesses or upon request for individuals who are unable to drop off their items. To schedule a pickup, drop-off, or if you have any questions, email email@example.com or call or text 209-259-3856.