Columbus Foundation Donates 50,000 KN95 Masks to Local Organizations
The Columbus Foundation has announced that it will be donating tens of thousands of KN95 masks to nursing homes, EMS workers and first responders, city and county health departments, and nonprofits.
The donation is part of a larger investment the Foundation made in 100,000 medical-grade masks. The State of Ohio is purchasing half of the shipment, which arrived on Thursday, April 29.
The first donation of approximately 5,000 masks will be made to nursing homes, where supplies are running perilously low since the facilities began testing every patient, per a state mandate.
The nonprofit organization National Church Residences will lead a number of senior-focused agencies that have partnered to implement rapid turnaround COVID-19 testing across the region through the Post-Acute Regional Rapid Testing program, made possible in part by Columbus Foundation grant funding.
“This generous and incredibly well-timed donation of masks will allow the PARRT program to support vulnerable seniors with mandated rapid testing while providing crucial protection to our front-line workers,” said Mark Ricketts, CEO of NCR. “National Church Residences joins LeadingAge Ohio, Central Ohio Geriatrics and Ohio Living in expressing our profound gratitude to The Columbus Foundation.”
The remaining masks will be divided between Franklin County’s Emergency Management’s distribution system, led by city and county officials to address the needs of EMS and other first responders, and the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, which will coordinate with its member organizations to provide high-risk nonprofit organizations with the high protection level masks.
“This gift of PPE from The Columbus Foundation can lead to lives being saved and the health of at-risk front-line workers being protected,” said Jeff Young, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “This is how we rally as a community, and it is truly impressive.”
“This is truly a wonderful example of public-private partnership. It goes to show, yet again, that the Columbus community unites during times of need,” said Columbus Foundation President and CEO Douglas Kridler. “We are proud to build this coalition to support those in our community who are on the front lines of fighting this disease.”
The masks were transported to a local distribution center operated by San Francisco-based clothing and accessory company, rockflowerpaper, the company through which the Foundation arranged the purchase of the masks. The company is donating labor and distribution assistance.
“I am so pleased to assist the Columbus community in this way,” said Katie Smith, proprietor of rockflowerpaper. “rockflowerpaper has only been operating in Central Ohio for a few years, but we have come to really love the area. It’s both exciting and rewarding to contribute to the well-being of our front-line responders and community members during this challenging time.”
For more information, visit columbusfoundation.org.