Everyone remembers how essential masks were at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. When their importance became clear, global shortages led to price gouging, fraudulent sales, and extended usage of temporary masks.
During the initial months of the pandemic, communities all across the country responded to this need and began making masks and even gowns. Knowing the Home would soon be in need of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), staff including Sue Vander Ploeg, then Associate Director of the HCH Foundation, took charge and reached out to churches and the community in order to spearhead the donation efforts.
Masks were the easy part. Harder, but no less important, were gowns. Making gowns can require fabric, precise measurements and cuts, and patient sewing discipline.
COVID-19 patients cannot safely be treated without washable or disposable gowns. Sue was able to connect with over 40 members of the community to create a gown ecosystem in which one donor would send fabric and elastic, another might cut the fabric, and finally another donor would sew everything together.
An unexpected community of support brought together by the providence of God came together at the Home’s time of need and provided the PPE needed to properly and safely treat residents. Sue, who coordinated this gown ecosystem, described its members as “such giving people” and noted “what a beautiful thing it is to be part of this community.”
The Home is thankful for Sue’s communication and coordination work, the contributions of numerous staff members, the time and effort offered by the volunteers, as well as the countless members of the community who provided and supported the Home during this time.
“Every donation has a story,” Sue says. Ours is a story of God’s provision in our time of need.
The Fresh Grocer, Bob Greenway
Deborah Nachman Mangot
Julie and Aaron McCombs
Needlecraft Inc., Sam Steen and Andy Steen
PPE Fab Crew, Rachel Chou
Amy and Allie Spalt
Mary Ann Valenti
Bill Vander Eems
Nora Hagedoorn Versnel