With the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the the NAPA Langley, B.C. distribution centre were surprised when their shipment of N95 masks arrived.
“We knew we had some on order, but we weren’t sure we were getting them. We were pretty sure we weren’t getting them,” NAPA DC general operations manager Greg Phoenix told CTV News. So when the order of more than 2,000 N95 masks arrived, surprise turned quickly to generosity, and the NAPA team starting looking for a worthy place to donate the valuable commodity.
“We decided to obviously do the right thing and it was to donate those,” said Phoenix. “Very close and dear to my heart is the care facilities right now, and senior living and anything we can help is great.”
Phoenix’s donation was partly inspired by his father, who just moved to an assisted living facility.
This is the latest in a growing list of generous donations and support for front line workers by automotive aftermarket organizations.
“Whether it’s five masks or 1,000 masks, they are all needed and we will take them gladly,” Lee Coonfer, the CEO of the B.C. Seniors Living Association told CTV.
While the majority of deaths from COVID-19 in B.C. have been at long term care homes, Coonfer says assisted living and independent living seniors facilities are also at high risk. “COVID-19 doesn’t differential between the site you are at. The need is across the board. That’s why we’re doing this,” he said.
So Coonfer and Ken Donahue from Safecare B.C. were happy to drive to the NAPA Auto Parts DC to pick up the mask donation, one of many from local businesses.
“With the generosity of British Columbians, more than 300 donors have stepped up to donate more than 318,000 items which include N-95 masks gowns gloves, hand sanitizer and also surgical masks ,” said Donohue. “These are vulnerable seniors and we need to do all we can to take care of them.”
Special thanks to Colby Hill, Sales Manager, Corporate Stores, British Columbia – Greater Vancouver Area, for bringing this to our attention.