MANCHESTER, NH – Medical professionals at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua and Elliot Hospital are overwhelmed by the response from businesses and residents who have stepped up to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and care packages for their frontline medical staff during the COVID-19 crisis.
Kelli Rafferty, Director of Philanthropy for Elliot Health System’s Mary & John Elliot Charitable Foundation, which is part of Solution Health, said hundreds of people responded to the request.
What she said is most touching, however, are the families who dropped off care packages containing notes of thanks and encouragement.
“The staff is really out straight so we wanted to be able to just bolster their spirits,” she said of the care packages request. “The amount of snacks and food we have received is amazing and we’re going to need more because we know it has the potential to be a protractive circumstance for us and so we wanted the staff to be as upbeat in the face of a challenging time.”
She said she gets “choked up” about the community’s support for the medical teams. One care package dropped off by the Colla family of Manchester had “Thank you” written on the outside and contained “adorable care packages for the staff” inside.
Families, she said, have written notes of thanks to the staff while dropping off anything from soda to granola bars to bags of candy.
“It’s astonishing what people are doing,” she said. “We are so really moved by the wonderful support of the community.”
Londonderry High School’s Lancer Band, which canceled scheduled trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City for St. Patrick’s Day, donated boxes of snacks they were to take with them on their travels.
Pastor Gary Hamilton of Tower Hill Church in Auburn donated a 100 containers of sanitizing wipes from Convoy of Hope. Harvest Ace Hardware of Bedford donated 10,000 vinyl protective gloves. One church dropped off protective gowns. Rafferty said she doesn’t know where they obtained them and surmised maybe a church member worked at a medical facility that had extras.
Dick Anagnost, a real estate developer and president of Anagnost companies, provided hand cream for the emergency room staff.
What is still “desperately” needed, she said, are N95 masks, sometimes called respirators. She said contractors and painters sometimes have those and they’re hoping those people will be able to donate them for the medical staff.
Still needed are disposable face masks, eye protection, including face shields and safety glasses/goggles, non-latex gloves and disposable surgical gowns and caps and foot covers.
Donations can be made Monday through Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Elliot at River’s Edge, 185 Queen City Ave. at the main entrance near the parking garage.
Care packages should be packaged securely as they will need to be cleaned with disinfectant wipes before distribution.
People wanting to make a cash donation to support the Covid-19 Emergency Fund they can donate securely at www.elliothospital.org/donate and select Greatest Need/Elliot Fund