MUSCATINE, Iowa—Knowing that personal protective equipment shortages affects workers across Iowa, Tony Joseph wanted to help front-line workers in Muscatine stay safe by providing masks for as many as he could. Through a longtime client, Joseph ordered 1,000 KN-95 masks, an FDA approved substitute for N-95 masks when supplies become scarce. To help stem COVID-19 outbreaks at local long-term care facilities, and prevent them at others, Joseph has made donations to the Wilton Retirement Community, Lutheran Living Senior Campus, and Sunnybrook at Muscatine.
Once the order of masks arrived April 13, Joseph began looking for places to donate them to, emphasizing a desire to use them to help his employees and their families and for, “people who have to work to provide for their families but have to be out there on the front lines.”
When Joseph heard of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Wilton Retirement Community, he immediately knew he wanted to help them. That same day, he sent over 160 masks to provide additional protection for their staff members.
After making the donation, he learned that it had extra meaning for one of his employees, Amanda Peterson. A Wilton resident, Peterson’s daughter, Emery, a sixth grader at Wilton Elementary School,” regularly volunteered at the center. Each week, Emery would visit during a study hall, playing games with residents. “She’s made a lot of friends there,” said Amanda Peterson. “It feels good to be able to help out in my community.”
With many masks still available, Joseph gladly sent 200 to Lutheran Living on April 16, the day the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed their COVID-19 outbreak. He also sent 40 masks to Sunnybrook at Muscatine in hopes of preventing outbreaks there. “Our whole team a Joseph international are happy to help our community,” shared Joseph. “We hope we can make a difference.”