To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Little Saplings Preschool in Eureka received personal protective equipment (PPE), infrared thermometers, and other safety items from the First 5 California Emergency Supplies Program on Wednesday. So far the program has distributed to childcare facilities statewide, “40,000 diapers and wipes, 7,000 masks, 9,000 disposable gloves, 540 gallons of cleaning solution, nearly 1,000 units of hand sanitizers and soaps and other items, with more on the way,” according to their own account.
“The First 5 Emergency Supplies Program leverages our local and state partnerships to provide the public critical tools to ensure the health of our community,” said Mary Ann Hansen, First 5 Humboldt executive director which partnered with the program to bring supplies to the preschool. “It not only meets vital basic needs for families to reduce community spread of the virus, but it also supports our county’s child care providers and the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers, which provide valuable services during the pandemic.”
The program is designed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety items to child care providers helping low-income families across the state. In the initial stages of the pandemic there were shortages of essential supplies for child care providers and the program was started to fill the need. However, according to Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California, “As we have continued to learn more about the virus, we have refocused our efforts to providing local county commissions support for reducing community spread and detecting symptoms as early as possible, which is why we are pleased to be distributing nearly 11,000 infrared thermometers to essential service providers remaining open during the pandemic.”
Several organizations worked with the First 5 Emergency Supplies Program to provide the needed items. SupplyBank.Org, a nonprofit that works with organizations by leveraging its ability to purchase in bulk assisted First 5 California as did First 5 Humboldt County, and the City of Eureka.
“We’re excited to be able utilize our model to address the emergency needs with our allied agencies in Humboldt County and throughout California,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, founder and executive director of SupplyBank.Org. “We are grateful for the partnership and leadership of First 5 California, First 5 Humboldt, and all other contributors for joining the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure all families have health, safety and comfort during this unprecedented time.”