KENT, Wash. -- Healthcare providers and first responders are putting their lives on the line to protect communities in Washington from exposure to COVID-19. However, their inventory of medical supplies to continue fighting the pandemic is running low. A community in Kent joined together to help fill the urgent need.
Thursday, volunteers with Gateway Medical Alliance packaged and delivered supplies to Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, one of the epicenters of coronavirus in Washington.
“We have no idea what’s really going on behind the scenes in the hospitals,” said volunteer Kim Peterson.
With so many questions coming from her community about how to support healthcare providers, Peterson said she wanted to find some answers. After calling Evergreen asking about the specific and immediate needs, should posted a YouTube video with the hospital’s very detailed list.
“Here we are. I just knew I couldn’t do it alone. So, I thought who in our community is already hitting the ground running,” said Peterson.
Her call to action got the attention of Gateway Medical Alliance. The warehouse in Kent is full of medical supplies that are actually donated by area hospitals and clinics, which are then shipped to impoverished countries. In fact, executive director Greg Plett said the load they packed up for Evergreen was originally supposed to go to Cambodia.
“I think sending these things overseas is super important. But if we’re not here and alive and taking care of the people that need to be taken care of here, there will be nothing going to Africa or the Middle East or anywhere else,” said Larry Snyder, a Gateway volunteer.
Now, the same places that donated the supplies will get them right back to support those on the front line of this outbreak.
“They’re the ones that are literally dealing with this invisible enemy while the rest of us are running out the door,” said Snyder. “They need these supplies absolutely right now in order to treat this problem that’s going no right in our community.”
Kent Police Department and area nursing homes also received supplies. Gateway delivered resources to other places in need across the state. Those who would like to support the efforts are welcomed to visit Gateway’s website.
Much is still unknown about the worldwide pandemic. Volunteers said what they do know is the importance in taking care of their own.
“We have supplies, we can make a difference. So, being able to just help our local community has a great joy,” said Plett. “As they have given to us, we’re able to give to them.”