A downtown Victoria street nurse is thanking the public for its generous outpouring of donations after he put out a plea for help.
Last week, Corey Ranger asked businesses closed due to COVID-19 to donate unused gloves and masks to frontline workers, who were having trouble accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) themselves. The response was unparalleled.
“The next morning I checked my inbox and had more than 70 emails,” Ranger said.
Since then he’s been running around collecting donations in an effort to prevent people from having to go out.
Ranger has received gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, soap, Lysol wipes and more.
“We’ve received so much that we’re not taking any more,” he said. “It also prompted our public health authority to authorize proper PPE.”
Ranger received responses from businesses and individuals both locally and abroad.
“We even an individual from France offer to ship us masks,” he said. “Also, a manufacturing company based out of B.C. offered to purchase a shipment of masks for us, which we gratefully accepted.”
Ranger said that as of Friday he’d picked up 20 boxes of gloves, 10 boxes of masks and an entire box of hand sanitizer cartons, as well as a wall mount that he could install at the temporary homeless site at Topaz Park.
He’s received so many requests, that he’s now trying to redirect the donations to local shelters as well as outreach services in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, where workers are having troubles getting supplies.
“I just wanted to thank the community for being so awesome. Even though they have to self-isolate they found a way to help.”
Anyone wishing to donate masks, gloves and other supplies to frontline workers can contact local harm reduction organizations such as SOLID, Cool Aid, the Umbrella Society, or local shelters.
Some sites in Vancouver that could use help include VANDU, InSite, and the Overdose Prevention Society.