Richmond community dropping off PPE at pop-up donation sites

Richmond community dropping off PPE at pop-up donation sites
City and county officials accepting donations of PPE at Richmond Civic Center on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (Photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

A Kennedy High administrator dropped of 15 combined boxes of eyewear and gloves. Someone came by with 1,000 surgical and cloth masks. Even senior citizens stopped with gifts of N95 masks and Lysol products.

On Wednesday, city and county agencies accepted donations of personal protection equipment from a pop-up collections booth in a parking lot at Richmond Civic Center as part of the COVID-19 response. It’s one of two local donation drop-off sites operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday this week. The San Pablo Library is hosting the other drop-off site.

Donated items will help Contra Costa Health Services supply staff at a field hospital set up at the Craneway Pavilion to accept patients in the case that local hospitals are overwhelmed amid the pandemic.

“This is a very important event to collect needed supplies for first responders, and we really need the community’s help,” said Michelle Milam, the city’s crime prevention manager who is on temporary duty with the EOC’s COVID-19 Public Information Unit. “Not everyone can be a medical professional, but everyone can support our medical professionals with these donations.”

Trisha Johnson, with the County’s Health Service Hazardous Materials program, said “everyone has been so generous with donations.” Also working at the donation center was Fred Lucero and Jonathan Brito of the the Richmond Builds program.

“Donating PPE for our healthcare works who are in dire need of face masks, goggles and surgical gowns demonstrates Richmond community’s dedication and appreciation of our local health community,” said Genevieve Pastor-Cohen of the city’s Office of Emergency Services.

​Businesses and residents are encouraged to visit the donation sites Thursday and donate the following types of protective medical supplies:

▪ Eye protection, such as goggles and face shields
▪ Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes, typically alcohol or bleach based (unopened). NO baby wipes.
▪ N-95 and surgical masks (unused)
▪ Waterproof gowns, coveralls and sleeved aprons
▪ Hand-sewn cloth masks