ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s time to clean out the garage, inspect those boxes in the attic and sift through closets for equipment that can help protect those who are helping care for and treat COVID-19 patients.
A group of New Mexico students — Protect NM — has teamed up with The Curse, New Mexico United’s independent supporters’ group, to make sure medical professionals have the equipment they need to stay safe during the pandemic.
David Carl, president of The Curse, said they are asking individuals and businesses to donate any homemade, surgical, procedural or N-95 masks, face shields, goggles, gowns, and gloves they are not using.
“Together New Mexicans are rallying together to make a life-saving impact,” Carl said. “Your donation of PPE (personal protective equipment) will mean that someone’s father, someone’s grandmother, or someone’s best friend will survive this pandemic. One donation will save countless lives.”
They will begin collecting personal protective equipment, by appointment, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18, with a drive-thru donation drive at all three Sagebrush Church locations and Manzano Day School.
The drive will continue April 24-25 also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule a drop off time, fill-out a short form at protectnmppe.wixsite.com/protectnm.
Sally Midani, a member of Protect NM, said difficulty in obtaining equipment and safe usage of the equipment makes a shortage inevitable.
“While our group is optimistic about the potential influx in numbers, it can’t be overstated just how much this project relies on the community for its success,” she said. “We want New Mexicans to know the impact that one box of masks — or even one mask for that matter — can have on saving lives and protecting our frontline workers who take risks for our community every day.”
Midani said they will be working with the state’s New Mexico COVID-19 Emergency Supply Collaborative to make sure the equipment goes to health-care providers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Carl said The Curse is planning additional drives in the future at local breweries and restaurants. He said these future drives will include free, exclusive, Curse masks for anyone who donates. The masks are being made by members of the supporters’ group.