Communities and Tidewell Volunteers Answer Call For Personal Protective Equipment

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY MAR 26, 2020

Tidewell Hospice put out a call for help during an unprecedented time of uncertainty for health care organizations. The response has been swift and overwhelming. On social media and through connections to volunteers, local businesses and community and neighborhood groups, Tidewell asked for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e. gloves, masks, gowns, and hand sanitizer, to serve patients and families during the coronavirus outbreak. The response was reminiscent of the homefront response during World War II, when U.S. citizens donated socks, underwear, and other items to the war effort, although admittedly on a smaller scale. Several community partners stepped forward to donate fabric for gowns and masks. Community and church quilting and sewing hobby groups have contacted Tidewell to join in the cause. At Harvest United Methodist Church in Lakewood Ranch, Director of Missions Diane McCoy mobilized her congregation of more than 500 to help. "We heard about the need from neighbors and social media. We have a sewing group, ‘Sewing Seeds of Faith,’ a group of about 20 church member women,” Diane said. “Since school is out we have some students and other church members who have jumped in with us to make masks and gowns. We reached out to Tidewell because we have seen the inspiring work and dedication of Tidewell for the community. Tidewell is a blessing to those in our community and to our church, as well." PPE is critical to protect clinical staff from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Tidewell is in need of all these things to protect staff and the more than 1,200 patients in care daily. “We’ve been so gratified by the outreach of groups that have been contacting us this week, and we need more in order to meet the long-term demands for supplies,” said Debbie Mason, EVP/Chief Philanthropy Officer and President of the Tidewell Foundation. Regular volunteer activities have been severely cut back by the coronavirus outbreak. Tidewell volunteers are no longer visiting patients in homes or facilities. All group activities for Tidewell volunteers have been suspended until further notice. But that hasn’t stopped volunteers from contributing to the cause. Tidewell is extremely grateful for the generous donations of time, talent and treasure at this time of uncertainty. There is still a need for additional hand sanitizer, masks, and protective gowns. To donate masks, gowns, hand sanitizer or other supplies, email philanthropy@tidewell.org or call 941-552-7546.

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