“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers
We have countless “helpers” in our beloved community. They are those who run directly towards disaster without hesitation. Doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, firemen, policemen – all who answer the call when our community is in need.
Our helpers – our lifeline – is now on the “frontlines” of something this country has never seen before as we face COVID-19. They are woefully unprotected as they are asked to reuse their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which are meant to be used one per patient, throughout the day for multiple patients. This is not only unsafe for patients (which could one day soon be you, your parents, your child) it is incredibly unsafe for our helpers. It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that if our healthcare employees are exposed to this virus and are sick…they cannot take care of us. If there is no one to take care of us, we are in trouble.
From local doctor Brittany Landry, MD: “We are literally handed a brown paper lunch bag and one mask to reuse over and over despite it being a one use only item.”
We need these folks to be able to take care of themselves so they can in turn keep our community safe and healthy. The CDC has lowered the guidelines on safety requirements/protocols for our hospitals. Make no mistake – this is not because a bandana across your face is suddenly safe. It is because there are not enough supplies to last. This is false hope for the public. Without the proper PPE to keep our healthcare workers and emergency responders safe, we have no chance.
This is not to panic you. This is to move you to action.
Now, I’m not a nurse or a first responder running towards disaster, but I like to think when our community is in trouble that I do my best to help others. I spent the morning contacting our local Chamber of Commerce, school district, and businesses who may have PPE and cleaning supplies to donate. I did this in my pajamas and from home. In two hours, I had six local businesses who committed to donating masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies to local hospitals and healthcare professionals. I don’t share this to pat myself on the back (did I mention I did this in pajamas?), I say this to tell you – YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!
We can all step up as “helpers” in this time.
Here’s how you can help. Do you know the owner of a local business that is temporarily closed due to COVID-19? Reach out to them and ask them nicely to donate PPE (see below for items needed and where to donated). Maybe you are the owner of that local business. You can save lives.
Businesses that may fall in this category: 1) Offshore boats that are docked, 2) Schools / Day Cares, 3) Home improvement stores, 4) Doctors, dentists, dermatologists offices, 5) Restaurants, 6) Nail or beauty salons, 7) Tattoo parlors.
If you have any of the following supplies: masks, gloves, goggles, disinfecting wipes or spray, hand sanitizer please consider donating to someone on the list below. I’m not suggesting to donate your entire stock, but if you have three boxes of gloves consider donating one.
Here’s where you can donate:
Terrebonne General Medical Center
Contact: Amy Cantrelle at 873-4611
Drop Off: TGMC loading dock
Call prior to drop off to coordinate.
Contact: Dr. Brittany Landry at 985-991-7119
Drop Off: PCC Clinic behind Chabert
Contact: Kay DiSalvo at 985-876-8704
Drop Off: 1018 Bond Street off Tunnel Blvd
Houma Fire Department
Contact: Keith Ward at 985-873-6391
Drop Off: 600 Wood Street, Houma
St. Anne Hospital
Contact: CRD Department at 537-2337
Drop Off: St. Anne loading dock (behind hospital)
Call prior for directions of loading dock if needed.
I’d like to personally thank the following businesses who have donated so far in response to my messages: Neo Nail Spa, Nail Envy, Houma Family Dental, Louisiana Dental Association, Prism Salon, Monarch Studios, and 4 Seasons Spa. More is being added to this list by the hour and there are MANY more who have donated on their own that I don’t know about. Thank you for protecting our helpers running towards disaster.
We can only be #TerrebonneStrong if we work together. Stay home. Don’t socialize with those outside your home in person (call them, facetime, text!). Wash your hands. And thank a “helper” in your life. They need it now more than ever.