MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two Monongalia County Lowe’s locations donated a total of $2,800 to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers to help in the fight against COVID-19.
A press release from the Monongalia County Health Department stated that the Westover and Glenmark Lowe’s stores each pitched in $1,400 to purchase N95 and surgical masks, Tyvek suits, nitrile gloves, disinfectant wipes and more.
“Right now, it’s a tough time for everybody,” said Victor Bartlett, store manager of the Westover Lowe’s. “We enjoy being community-oriented. Anything I can do to help the community get back to normal, we’re here to help.”
The release stated that according to the corporate Lowe’s website, the home improvement retailer has nationally pledged $25 million, with $10 million of that earmarked for medical professionals on the front lines. Additionally, the release stated that $4.5 million has been earmarked for Lowe’s stores in the U.S. and Canada to donate to their communities “to serve short-term and long-term needs,” according to the website.
The release stated that Greg Layfield, store manager for Glenmark Lowe’s, noted that he and Bartlett teamed up and found a supplier from whom they could purchase supplies.
Health officials said that Dr. Lee B. Smith, Monongalia County Health Department executive director and county health officer, expressed his gratitude for the donations.
“Monongalia County Health Department and other first responders are very grateful for the consideration and generosity that Lowe’s has shown during this pandemic to national, state and county emergency operations,” Dr. Smith said. “We all appreciate the cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment they have gifted.
“This is above and beyond expectations,” he added. “Thanks to everyone involved and the leadership at our local Lowe’s.”
The release stated that Harold “Hap” Sperringer, deputy director for Monongalia County Homeland Security, Emergency Management Agency and MECCA 911, said he is also grateful for the equipment.
“It’s a very trying time to everybody in the community,” Sperringer said. “Lowe’s has really stepped up and donated a considerable amount of cleaning supplies and PPE that has been distributed to all the first responders and other agencies that are in need of this type of equipment.
“The Office of Emergency Management is very appreciative with what they have done to look out for their community.”
The release stated that Sperringer and Bartlett noted that they have known each other for a while through a mutual friend, which helped facilitate the donations.
“With my partnership with Hap, every time I get something to donate, I do this in order to get us through this COVID-19 issue,” Bartlett said.
WVU Medicine and Mon Health Medical Center also received some of the equipment, spokespersons for both hospitals acknowledged.
“We want to get these people on the front line this equipment so we can all get out of this together and get back to normal,” Bartlett said.