CLEVELAND — The need for personal protective equipment, or PPE, for local health workers is great as they battle the coronavirus. One non-profit is helping to answer the call, while trying to overcome the challenges this pandemic has dealt them.
“We have distributed thousands of masks, eye shields, gloves, gowns,” stated Carolina Masri, the CEO of MedWish International.
All those donations went to local healthcare workers on the frontline. MedWish International, based in Cleveland, repurposes reusable medical equipment to provide humanitarian aid to all over the world, as well as Northeast Ohio.
“This is a time where we understand, and we see the need locally and we are ready to return the support to our local and domestic giving program,” said Marsi.
PPE supplies have gone out to the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, MetroHealth and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. But the pandemic is slowing MedWish’s response. Hundreds of pallets of donations, they have been collecting for months, need to be sorted.
“We need to know what is inside because we might be sitting on pallets containing PPE or respiratory supplies we currently need,” added Marsi.
Normally volunteers would assist, but for everyone’s safety the volunteer program was suspended. Leaving a small staff to do the work.
“The reality right now is that we have our trained staff only doing the work that generally our volunteers would do,” said Marsi.
MedWish is currently sorting about 16 palettes a day. The work is getting done, much to the gratitude of the area’s health care workers.
“They are just so appreciative, and they are thanking us for allowing them to be even more prepared to fight this pandemic,” said Marsi.
There will be a fundraiser this week called “Music for MedWish”, featuring 10 Broadway stars performing from their homes. It will stream live on MedWish’s Facebook page on Thursday, April 9th at 8pm.
MedWish International’s Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MedWishInternational/
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