Donations of gloves, masks pour in for frontline workers

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Forty-five new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pierce County, bringing the total number to 231.

As cases rise, the need for gloves, masks and gowns grows too.

Friday, thousands of donated personal protective equipment items were dropped off at the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center.

"I can’t even find words to describe how I feel about that, it just makes me smile that somebody’s caring about us,” said Patricia Brown.

Brown is a nurse at MultiCare. She puts herself at risk every single day.

"We had no idea it would get to a point where we’re rationing out things. This is a whole new way of life,” she said.

Brown said they’re running out of safety equipment to protect themselves and the patients they serve.

Supplies Saves Lives WA, headed by UFCW 21, asked the community for help. Right away, people all across Puget Sound quickly stepped up to the plate.

Over the last week, people have donated thousands of masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, wipes and more.

"We just really want to say thank you to the community for stepping up and making sure that frontline workers, like healthcare workers and grocery workers, have the protection that they need in these moments,” said Sarah Cherin, UFCW 21 Chief of Staff.

The contributions are coming from businesses, organizations and individual community members.

Donating items is as simple as filling out an online form. Once that’s done, union members pick up donations at people’s front doors.

"It’s just been great that the community is coming together so that these supplies can get in the right hands,” said Ben Hartman.

Friday, they dropped off the equipment at the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center. The donations will directly help people, like Brown, whose job won’t slow down anytime soon.

"That’s why we’re out there, trying to take care of people who are sick and making sure they go home well so they can be with their families,” Brown said.

After dropping off supplies in Pierce County, union members headed up to King and Snohomish counties to drop off personal protective equipment to workers there.

Donated supplied must be in unopened boxes. All supplies will be given to Washington state hospitals and first responders treating COVID-19 patients.

If you’d like to help, you can find out more information on their website when you click here.