Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa—Recently, United Way of Muscatine made a donation of N-95 masks years in the making. Programming Manager Nichole Sorgenfrey shared that three years ago, Bayer gave them three full pallets of N-95 masks to use during Day of Caring and other volunteer projects. Though United Way volunteers used some of the masks each year, they barely made a dent in the huge stock. However, not wanting to waste quality supplies, United Way held on to them just in case.

When Sorgenfrey heard that local healthcare providers needed N-95 masks to combat COVID-19, she knew exactly how to put United Way’s many masks to good use. United Way contacted UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital to see if they would take them. They gratefully accepted, requesting United Way deliver half their masks directly to the hospital and the other half to Trinity Muscatine Public Health.

Because United Way had 60 cases containing roughly 9,600 masks, they knew they needed help transporting them to the hospital and public health. The contacted the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, who happily sent Lieutenant Greg Bock to help deliver them, with the help of United Way volunteer Devin.

For Sorgenfrey, getting to send United Way’s extra N-95 masks to local health care professionals who could benefit from them simply made sense. “We are all in this together, so if we have something that someone else needs, we will share,” she said. Sorgenfrey also felt grateful that United Way could have a positive impact locally on a challenge many communities across the state and nation face. “We know from Governor Reynolds about the shortage and how the masks help keep our healthcare workers safe; we need healthcare workers to stay safe to treat all during this epidemic,” she added.

As Muscatine County continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, Sorgenfrey reminds residents that United Way, in cooperation with Muscatine Center for Social Action and the Salvation Army, provides free, delivered meals for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, and that they welcome volunteers to help prepare and deliver these meals. For more information, Sorgenfrey encourages you to contact her at [email protected]

Trinity Muscatine Public Health also requests local businesses with personal protective equipment, like N-95 masks, to consider donating it, as supplies get used each day. To learn more, call 563-263-0122. 

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