coronavirus

North Texas Family-Owned Business Donates N95 Masks to UT Southwestern in Honor of Former Patient

Mart, Inc. General Contractor in Irving was sitting on a gold mine the company had forgotten about...boxes of N95 masks.

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The back of Tim Proctor's pickup truck was loaded on Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Mart, Inc. General Contractor in Irving with boxes and boxes of donations, not old clothes or used home goods, but new N95 face masks.

"There's 12 boxes in each one of these cases," Proctor said. "They're packed in there pretty tight."

Proctor found the boxes of masks in the Mart, Inc. warehouse. "It was just set up there out of the way," Proctor said pointing at a shelf with cobwebs. "I'd forgotten the quantity we had."

Mart, Inc. had 12,000 masks in all. The man who started the business, Proctor's father Vernon Proctor, was a thrifty business owner who bought them at an auction a year and a half ago, just in case his employees needed them on a construction site.

The elder Proctor passed away last month from liver cancer. In his absence, his family found a way to honor him using the N95 masks.

"I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to donate them to the hospital," Proctor said. "This is what Dad would want."

On Wednesday Proctor drove the boxes to UT Southwestern Medical Center, the place that cared for Vernon Proctor in his final days.

"We just wanted to give back to the hospital and the employees that were there," Proctor said.

"He would say 'Excellent, I'm glad you're going it'," Proctor's widow, Linda Proctor said. "Vernon was a problem-solving man."

The family saw there was a problem getting the coveted N95 masks. It was a problem they could do their part to help fix in Vernon Proctor's honor.

The senior Proctor was no stranger to crisis. He volunteered with the Texas Baptist Men, helping communities in their times of need. It was something his faith called him to do.

"This is part of who we are," Linda Proctor said. "What we're supposed to do is helping others."

Proctor said the hospital told him they go through 1,000 N95 masks a day. Their donation should last nearly two weeks. If you'd like to donate, contact UT Southwestern at giving@utsouthwestern.edu or call (214) 648-8988.

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