ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Faced with a critical shortage of personal protective equipment here in Maryland, Pastor Paulo Macena is partnering with state emergency managers to collect what he can at his church on St. John’s Lane in Ellicott City.
“As they are learning more about it, they are coming,” said Pastor Paulo Macena. “Yesterday, I think someone came… one person…and dropped (off) a hundred N95 masks.”
That’s 100 more masks at a time when the state’s request to the federal government for help has come up half-a-million short.
The church is one of four drop-off sites in the state also collecting everything from unused hospital gowns, Tyvek coats and cleaning supplies to goggles, gloves and surgical caps.
While not everyone will have these items in bulk to deliver, Macena says every little bit help even if it’s a single mask like someone dropped off earlier this week.
“At the moment, I said, ‘That’s just one mask’, but think about it,” said Macena. “That one mask---how many lives can be saved? That person is not going to spread, if he has coronavirus.”
Unlike some drop-off sites elsewhere in the state, the church is also collecting food, including canned goods and nonperishable items like rice, bean and pasta to distribute to people who have lost an ability to pay for their own during the shutdown, but there’s no shortage of hope, which can be found here.
“Not only are we offering the food we’re collecting and the masks, but also we’re offering prayers,” said Macena. “If people want to come by here and stop buy and just ask for a prayer, we’re going to be six feet away, and we are going to offer to pray for each other as well.”
The church will be open for donations from 8 in the morning until 8 o’clock at night, Monday through Friday, and on weekends, both Saturday and Sunday, from 8 to 5.