It’s been nearly one year since the Coronavirus entered our lives. So much has changed, but one thing remains the same- the ability to tackle challenges by working together to accomplish the same goal.
When the Coronavirus pandemic impacted the United States, NECHAMA joined local efforts in Minnesota. We do a variety of disaster response work and maintain a stock of personal protective equipment (PPE). As a result, we were able to quickly donated PPE to local businesses, meeting the needs of essential workers in Minnesota.
In March 2020, a physician from Allina Health Courage Kenny Building reached out for help. Due to a nationwide shortage, they were not able to order face masks and gloves. We provided masks, surgical gloves, goggles, and Tyvek suits for their essential workers.
Shalom Senior Housing reached out with a similar request shortly after. Due to supply shortages, their staff was rapidly running out of PPE. NECHAMA provided masks, surgical gloves, and toilet paper for their residents. Puzzles and games were also provided to help ease feelings of isolation.
We received a call from a NECHAMA community member- their doctor was running low on masks. The ongoing supply shortage forced them to reuse the masks they had, trying to sanitize masks between uses. NECHAMA provided masks to meet their need.
A large amount of our PPE went to the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters North in Roseville, MN. They served as a primary PPE distribution center. PPE was distributed to those at highest risk and in greatest need. NECHAMA donated masks, surgical gloves, and Tyvek suits.
Donations were made without regard to how we would restock our supplies. They were made out of a desire to help in any way possible.
We would be remiss if we did not mention another collaboration- that of our long-term partner National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and GoodNation.
What is National VOAD? National VOAD is a movement, and the more than 50 member organizations of National VOAD are the driving force behind recovery from natural and human-caused disasters in the United States and its territories. National VOAD member organizations focus on all stages of disaster response—preparedness, relief, response, recovery, and mitigation.
GoodNation seeks to “connect donors seeking to have a meaningful impact with the highest-performing charities in the areas that matter most to them.” GoodNation and National VOAD quickly created the Coronavirus Response Fund. This fund allows donors to assist nonprofits who serve vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic, including seniors, the homeless, families living in poverty, and communities of color.
A generous donation from this fund allowed NECHAMA to restock hand sanitizer and masks that were donated at the beginning of the pandemic. This donation allows NECHAMA to continue to do the disaster response work we are known for. It ensures staff and volunteers have masks and hand sanitizer to minimize the spread of Coronavirus. It allows us to safely assist families in rebuilding their lives after devastating loss following disaster.
Thank you National VOAD and GoodNation donors- your partnership allows us to continue our mission of bringing comfort and hope after disaster!