SCBDR donates masks, protective gear for medical personnel

South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief has donated thousands of masks and other protective gear to assist doctors, nurses and other medical personnel across the state in caring for coronavirus patients.

The deliveries, made by SCBDR volunteers through April 10, included more than 16,327 N95 masks, 2,856 Tyvek suits, 1,040 goggles and 36,400 gloves. The supplies were left over from flood recovery efforts during the past five years of hurricanes and flooding across the state. 

Beginning with a hospital at the epicenter of the state’s coronavirus outbreak early on — Kershaw Health in Camden, with a donation of 2,600 masks — deliveries have been made to 26 medical facilities, clinics, hospitals, homeless shelters and other agencies spanning from the Upstate to the coast.

McLeod Seacoast Hospital in Little River, for example, received 350 pairs of gloves, 750 Tyvek suits, 36,000 pairs of gloves, 40 safety goggles and about 10 cases of hand sanitizer and soap in mid-March. Additional deliveries have since brought 800 more masks and 400 more goggles.

South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief also donated 2,640 masks, 1,700 Tyvek suits, and 400 goggles to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence.

Bryan Simmons and Mike Cole (in hat), of the Beaverdam Association flood recovery unit, serve at the Golden Harvest Food Bank in Seneca.

“God knew we would need them months ago when we were able to get them,” said Florence Baptist Association Director of Missions Chris Smith, who helped make the delivery there. “Thanks for your continued support to allow South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief to be a big part of our FBA ministry.”

Among other hospitals receiving deliveries of masks and supplies for SCBDR were Providence Health in Columbia, Lexington Medical Center, Self Memorial Hospital in Greenwood, Bon Secours/St. Francis in Greenville, McLeod Hospital in Loris, and Edgefield Hospital. The state’s Department of Social Services in Columbia also received a large number of masks.

“We are humbly grateful to share these resources to help protect the brave medical personnel on the frontlines of the battle with COVID-19,” said SCBDR Director Randy Creamer.

Two SCBDR shower units also were deployed to assist with hygiene at homeless shelters, one in Florence and one in Anderson.

While SCBDR has not deployed teams of disaster relief volunteers for this crisis, the ministry organization is encouraging volunteering locally by helping deliver meals to homebound seniors, assisting school staff to prepare and distribute meals for school children, and contributing to or serving at area food banks.

As COVID-19 cases have continued to increase across the nation, medical facilities in other states also are facing shortages of masks and other protective gear. In response, Southern Baptists donated more than 228,000 sets of protective equipment to hospitals and healthcare workers in different states by April.

Southern Baptist donations included more than 172,000 N95 masks and more than 56,000 sets of personal protective equipment given to help protect medical workers serving on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.

Send Relief has donated 30,100 masks and 45,520 PPEs to hospitals. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from across the nation have donated about 142,000 masks and 11,100 suits to local hospitals and medical facilities.

“Southern Baptists have been so generous in donating during this time,” said Bryant Wright, president of Send Relief. “Really, it’s not that we’re unusual as a people. It’s just that we are extremely grateful that Jesus Christ gave His life for us, and we want to be giving to our fellow man in a time of need.”

— With additional reporting by Brandon Elrod, a writer for the North American Mission Board.