by Shannon Pleasant, Austin Oak Hills Stake Communication Director
AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Austin area participated in Hurricane Harvey clean up, using a variety of protective supplies as they assisted and moved debris in the affected areas. When the COVID-19 health crisis struck, Austin area Latter-day Saints went to their supply closets and found personal protection equipment (PPE), including N95 masks left over from the August 2017 disaster relief efforts.
The shortage of PPE has become a critical issue for medical professionals and emergency workers. The church members moved quickly to inventory supplies and get them into the hands of community coordinators like the Travis County Medical Society (TCMS). TCMS is gathering and distributing medical supplies to physician offices throughout Austin. Masks were also given to the Austin VA Clinic.
“As we’ve watched health care professionals valiantly going to work day after day with limited access to protective gear, we were grateful to be able to contribute the leftover supplies from our volunteer efforts during the Hurricane Harvey clean-up,” said Neal Robison, High Councilman for the Austin Oak Hills Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We donated 100 new N95 masks to local Austin health care workers. We are thrilled to be able to play a small role in helping those in need.”
According to TCMS, Travis County physicians are in desperate need of masks, gloves and medical gowns. They are asking businesses and other organizations that may have these supplies on hand to donate them for local health care workers. PPE supplies can be dropped off at the Travis County Medical Society offices.