April 30, 2020
This is how an act of kindness spreads: it moves quickly, and it infects all with gratitude.
From an inner-city clinic, to grocery store workers in the trenches, these are the beneficiaries: warriors on the front lines of the Coronavirus battle, receiving state-of-the-art personal protective equipment they desperately need to protect us all.
“My heart is overwhelmed. It’s just like – I’m just happy. I’m happy,” says Tracy McKnight-Trotter, of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in downtown Seattle.
This good deed began when Scott Whitehead turned his auto equipment company, Benchmark Motoring, into a PPE factory.
“We’re not heroes. We’re just some guys with tools and decided to pick them up and see what we could do,” says Scott.
His face shields were first developed for staff at Evergreen Health in Kirkland. They’re helping protect caregivers from the very virus they’re trying to defeat.
“Absolutely. Everyday,” says Mary Shepler, Chief Nursing Officer at Evergreen Hospital.
We told Scott’s story – and people from around the state – and country – contacted us asking for shields.
So we hit the road to Forks Community Hospital after an employee wrote me saying me the facility needs PPE because most of the gear is sent to big cities.
We brought them 50 shields.
“On behalf of Forks Community Hospital and the staff we appreciate every ounce of it,” says Forks Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Heidi Anderson.
The shields go to their testing site: nurses, doctors, and volunteer EMT crews.
“Any protection that we can have is great for us because the worst thing that can happen is for us to get infected and then for us to take it home to our families,” says one Forks EMT.
Back on the road, now to QFC in West Seattle.
We brought grocery workers like Ashley Proszek 50 shields.
“I appreciate it so much. Thank You,” says Ashley.
50 more go to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
“I really like this. This definitely helps cover the entire face. It’s comfortable, it’s great material,” says one nurse.
Now to Seattle’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.
Medical Director Ben Danielson says it’s a facility that treats kids regardless of their family’s income.
“This is part of the community that is at the greatest risk for the worst outcomes for COVID,” says Dr. Danielson.
We told Scott about the place and he stopped by with more than 100 shields.
“We’re honored to meet all of you guys and thank you for what you are doing for our city and all these kids,” says Scott.
And as worries continue with America’s food supply chain, Scott made a donation of 100 shields to fish processor, Coldlocker Processing, in Sumner.
So, company president Ed Devito decided to turn around and pay it forward.
“My idea right now is to give back to the community. During this time and during this pandemic, I can see no better time than to help everybody else out,” says Ed.
He then OK’d a gift of more than 1,200 pounds of cod to Food Lifeline, which distributes to more than 300 food banks in western Washington.
“It’s an incredible, generous gesture. Everything down to the details,” says Food Lifeline’s Chris Nishiwaki.
The details of giving are simple: you just do it.
And hopefully, that act of kindness continues to spread to every corner and community in the state.
Dr. Ben Danielson, with the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, puts it best:
“It’s not just about the act. It’s about the sign that you care about other people, maybe about people you never knew or never met. That’s how we become a society. That’s how we hold together.”
If your organization is in need of shields, contact us at email@example.com.