As the world faces the pandemic of COVID-19, many are scared and are uncertain of the future. Shortages
Montrose Community Comes Together to Fill a Need
Bailee Phillips, MHS Senior
As the world faces the pandemic of COVID-19, many are scared and are uncertain of the future. Shortages run rampant across the country, and fear is everywhere. But, in these times of fear, the community of Montrose always comes together in order to help those in need.
Montrose, Colorado is known for its community values, and in times of need our community shines the brightest. It is shining now as our community comes together in an effort to help those keeping us safe. With surgical mask shortages all over the United States, Montrose found a way to help hospitals in need.
Many volunteers and one of our County Commissioners have put together a group that makes surgical masks and gives them to hospitals that are running low on masks. There are currently over 100 volunteers helping in this effort in Montrose, and the numbers are growing.
Sue Hansen, County Commissioner, is one of the people organizing the creation of masks, which are being donated to hospitals, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes. “People don’t realize how many different organizations need medical masks,” Hansen said. Though Hansen encourages everyone to make masks to help the need, she also urges those wanting to contribute to get the correct pattern for the masks so they are usable within hospitals and doctors’ offices. If you have masks you would like to donate, you can drop them off at the County Administration office at 317 S. 2nd Street. Masks will be cleaned and readied for donation.
There are also many businesses around Montrose helping with the mask drive in a variety of ways. Joanne’s is helping by giving out kits to make masks. Though these kits are not the exact masks doctors and hospitals need, they can be made and given to nursing homes. Montrose Christian church has also played a major role in helping create masks. The church has so far made about 100 masks and plans to continue to do so.
Even residents that did not know about this group saw the need for surgical masks and took it upon themselves to help with the effort. Ali Waltrip, a senior at Montrose High School, has been making masks for doctors, nurses and senior homes. “I didn’t know there was a group doing that. I just came up with the idea yesterday morning and threw myself into it,” Waltrip said. Helping the community seems to be in the blood of Montrose citizens, as Waltrip is not the only one taking the time to create protective masks.
Hansen may be the head of the effort, but there are many volunteers in the Montrose area that have gone above and beyond. Another person who has been actively involved is Phoebe Benziger. Benziger is hosting a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive Monday, March 30th and Tuesday, March 31st from 2-4pm at Montrose High School by the old gym (enter the parking lot off Townsend Ave by the baseball/softball fields). Benziger asks that if you have medical supplies in unopened boxes, please drop them off during that time. Our community is in search of eye protection and goggles, face shields, surgical masks, N95 masks, sterile and non-sterile gloves, disposable gowns, and biohazard bags. Social distancing measures will be taken during the drive-through PPE drive.
This just goes to show, through crisis and fear, our community does not fall apart, but rather we come together to fill a need. Montrose community takes care of its people, and this is a perfect example of how it does just that.