FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Local businesses and organizations have stepped up in recent weeks to donate much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to Allen County’s first responders and medical personnel fighting COVID-19. In partnership with the Allen County Department of Health, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. sent a request to the business community for excess gloves, masks, and other items. So far, a total of 13 entities volunteered to provide hundreds of pairs of gloves, 150 surgical masks, several N95 masks, cleaning services, and monetary contributions.
“We are battling this virus as a community, and every contribution helps, no matter the size,” said Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner. “We are thankful for these donations; they will help protect the medical professionals on the front lines serving our residents.”
“These valuable donations represent local solutions to our local challenges,” said Bernie Beier, director of the Allen County Office of Homeland Security. “Throughout this pandemic, local leaders have emerged from our homes, our businesses, and our units of government to lead together for a stronger, safer, more secure and resilient community. I am proud of our partners in preparedness.”
Businesses and other entities that have stepped up to donate PPE and other items include:
- Aqua Indiana
- Automation Engineering, LLC
- Calienté, LLC
- Don R. Fruchey Inc.
- East Allen County Schools
- EPCO Products, Inc.
- IWM Consulting Group
- John Heinkel (self-employed)
- PHP (individual employees)
- Reliable Cleaning
- Sauder Manufacturing Co.
- Smith Brothers of Berne
- Three Rivers Distilling Co.
This is not an exhaustive list—additional businesses have worked directly with local hospitals to provide PPE. These donations complement many other local efforts that have been previously publicized:
- Three Rivers Distilling Co. has pivoted its operations to produce hand sanitizer for local organizations and first responders.
- Vera Bradley and Cinda B are making facemasks and other equipment for hospitals and medical facilities.
- Trine University engineering faculty and staff members are working together with Parkview Health to develop devices that could serve as alternatives to hard-to-acquire items such as ventilators.
- Individuals have volunteered to sew thousands of masks for Parkview Health.
“We’re seeing, once again, that local businesspeople have a wonderful heart of service to this community,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “It’s inspiring to see businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and individuals pulling in the same direction. We are all in this together.”
About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention and community engagement. In 2019, GFW Inc. assisted 21 businesses in expansions or relocations in Allen County, resulting in a total of 1,187 projected new jobs, $52 million in new annual payroll, and more than $139 million in new investment.