The gloves were purchased late last year and earmarked for the organization’s 2020 River Cleanup program but with their programming on hold due to the pandemic, the group decided to donate them to the people who need them the most – local healthcare professionals and first responders.
“As much as we and our dedicated volunteers love our Cleanup program, none of us knows when we’ll be back on the job and back in the field,” says Captain Bill Sheehan. “And so it seemed like a sin to have 1,500 exam gloves sitting in storage when they could instead be helping protect the people who truly need them.”
On March 26 Bergen County began accepting accepting donations of PPE including surgical masks, medical face shields/goggles, protective medical gowns and exam gloves at the County Annex Building at 220 East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus, NJ. The drop-off site, located behind Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, is open and fully staffed Mondays through Fridays from 9AM through 2PM. The location is equipped to handle donations small or large, including those on shipping pallets.
“We know it’s not a big amount like the piles of gear we’ve all seen being donated by large companies and universities,” said Sheehan. “But for those close to our homes – and close to all our hearts – we’re honored to help any way we can.
Hackensack Riverkeeper strongly urges all its colleagues in conservation that conduct cleanups, environmental monitoring programs or any activity that involves using PPE to do the right thing, put those activities on hold, and donate all they can to aid the common fight against COVID-19.
Those seeking additional information about Bergen County donations should send an email to: [email protected]
Hudson County residents or organizations seeking to donate PPE are asked to call the Hudson County Office of Emergency Management at 201-369-5200 or e-mail [email protected] to arrange for pickup.
“When I arrived at Paramus, there were two vehicles being unloaded ahead of me and two more pulled in behind me once it was my turn,” said Riverkeeper’s Program Director Hugh Carola, who delivered the gear. “Even though she wore a mask, there was no mistaking the smile of thanks from the staffer who logged in our donation.”
At the present time there are no plans to suspend either county’s donation program.