Doctors, business owners answer the call for N-95 mask, supply donations during COVID-19 pandemic

CARY, N. (WTVD) -- Jennie Kowaleski bundled up disposal wipes, masks, gloves, sanitizer, and disinfectant spray. She has about $700 worth of supplies. They've been sitting on shelves, and she knows they could go to better use.

Her business, Azura Skin Care Center, isn't allowed to open right now because of the crisis.

She is answering the call for donations and sending her items to UNC Healthcare system.

"We might as well give it to someone else who can use it at this present time," said Kowaleski.

FULL COVERAGE OF THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

An orthodontist also pulled together supplies, some of which are desperately needed.

"These are the coveted N-95 masks," said Dr. Dan Grossman as he pulled them out of a box. "There's no use, so we need to get it to the people who need it the most."



He originally got some of the items to protect his staff, but he has since been forced to close doors.

The effort is personal for Grossman. He used to serve in the Navy and was sent to Indonesia to provide medical support after the 2004 tsunami.

He knows in a time of crisis, the kindness of others helps you through.

"That experience moved me," said Grossman. "From seeing how our supplies were put to use right away."

ABC11 was there as the supplies were collected from offices and a caravan brought the goods to a REX donation drop-off site.



REX has turned its Wellness Center gym into a warehouse. All the donated supplies are being held there. Staff will be inspecting the items and eventually distributing them to facilities as needed.

Grossman and Kowaleski are hoping others will be inspired to add to the collection.

"We feel this is the best way to give back to the community," said Grossman.

"I think that we can really help alleviate some of the stress on our local hospitals," said Kowaleski.

How to Help
UNC Health drop-off locations and hours of operation include:

UNC Health Learning Street
2001 Carrington Mill Blvd
Morrisville, NC 27560
Monday, March 23; Noon - 4 p.m.
March 24, 25, 26, 27; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont
100 Sprunt Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27517
Monday, March 23 - Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

UNC Wellness Center at Northwest Cary
350 Stonecroft Lane
Cary, North Carolina 27519
Monday, March 23 - Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh
4200 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

WakeMed Hospital is also collecting donations.

Anyone with unopened supplies that may be useful in the response effort is urged to email WakeMed at info@wakemed.org with details regarding available items.

Other businesses donating supplies

Harbor Freight is donating its entire supply of N95 masks and disposable gloves to hospitals around the country.

Manna Church donated more than 7,000 N95 masks to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Monday.

As part of a $25 million donation, Lowe's Home Improvement will donate $10 million worth of essential medical gear, including N95 masks and respirators, to hospitals and medical centers.
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