United Way of Tarrant County has launched a new program offering free personal protective equipment to non-profit organizations and the faith community within the county.
Leah King, president and CEO of the United Way of Tarrant County, said they have half a million pieces of PPE including masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and gowns.
“There’s a great need out there and if you think about the organizations that are serving the people directly, as well as the staff that they have, you need to be sure that we’re doing our part to help reduce spread of the virus," King said. "PPE is one of the best ways to do that."
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With no cost to the non-profits and churches, they can “order” the PPE through the United Way of Tarrant County’s website. King said the new program is funded through the CARES Act and in-kind donations from Bank of America and the Rainwater Foundation.
“Because of the demand, the pricing has gone through the roof,” she said, referring to PPE. “The benefit of what we can do and what we bring to the table is volume so because we’re ordering in such large quantities, we can get much better pricing.”
Carol Brown, executive director of Como Lions Heart, said their non-profit serves the Como community in Fort Worth. Most of the funds go towards keeping children and families fed, paying for utilities, mortgage and rent, she said.
Their organization was hosting a neighborhood food pantry at the Como Community Center on Friday.
“With them [United Way] being able to give us the face masks and the sanitizer that we can hand out, it makes it a lot easier,” Brown said. “Then we have days like this, we get the gloves and stuff for our workers and our volunteers, so it makes it wonderful.”
Qualifying non-profits and churches in Tarrant County that are in need of PPE are asked to go on the United Way of Tarrant County’s online portal to apply. From there, they are asked to fill out a form, which will email the organization informing them of the supplies needed.
King said they look at all of the requests and the size of the population which is being served to determine whether they can fulfill entirely or a portion of it.
"We do sometimes have to make adjustments based on overall demand and volume of inventory we have," she said.
Curbside distribution for fulfilled orders will occur every Friday, beginning Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at United Way of Tarrant County’s offices, 1500 N. Main St.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.