Alumni Provide Support for Frontline Heroes
Susan Burke Wilson ’72: RVs for Healthcare Heroes (MA)
“In 2017, Craig and I purchased a new 32’ motor home, as we wanted to travel and see more of this country. As part of the RV lifestyle, we subscribe to many online resources. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned of a Facebook group called RVs 4 MDs. They were looking for RV owners to donate the use of their motor homes to MDs, nurses, and first responders so they can isolate themselves from their families. We immediately signed up to help. We hoped that our small contribution would help protect family members and possibly save a life. We then learned about a local group, RVs for Healthcare Heroes MA, which matches RVs with Baystate Medical’s frontline personnel. Our RV is now in Belchertown, helping an emergency room technician. It was the perfect fit.” To learn more, visit rvsforhealthcareheroesma.org
Nathaniel “Than” Moore G’14: Gowns4Good
“I work as a physician assistant at the University of Vermont, a Level I trauma center. Working on the front lines, I know that medical facilities worldwide are lacking PPE (personal protection equipment) and are using anything they can to protect themselves, even makeshift trash-bag gowns and masks cut from bed sheets. Graduation gowns are more effective than alternatives, given their length, sleeves, and easy donning with zippered access. So, I teamed up with fellow University of Vermont Sustainable Innovation MBA students, and we launched Gowns4Good. To date, we’ve donated over 7,500 gowns from 49 states and have received requests for 85,000 gowns from hospitals and medical facilities nationwide. Please consider donating your graduation gowns to protect our healthcare workers!” To send your own graduation gown and to learn more, visit www.gownsforgood.net.
Alexandria Vassallo ’08: Better than a Bandana Masks
“I’m a special education teacher at Westfield High School, and I saw one of the school nurses had posted a request on Facebook for fabric masks for her spouse, who is also a nurse. I said to my four children, ‘Let’s learn a life task!’ They pitched in, and we have made more than 3,500 masks and distributed them to the Visiting Nurses Association, Visiting Angels, and others. We are now working with Westfield Emergency Management to help get more masks into the hands of people. All the materials to make them have been given to us; therefore, every mask is given out at no cost [100% cotton with elastic or ties] We’ve also partnered with Mask Makers of Westfield—we could use more mask makers, as well as donations of materials such as cotton fabric, 1/8-inch elastic, and thread. Although we are giving out masks, it is important to continue practicing social distancing. If you don’t have to be out, don’t go. Stay home and flatten that curve so we can all get back to ‘normal’.” Alexandria can be contacted through the Facebook page “Better than a Bandana Masks – Westfield.”