SMITHSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Hand sanitizer was one of the first items to fly off of shelves when the coronavirus pandemic started to sweep the nation back in February, leaving many medical and emergency response teams struggling to obtain the necessary disinfectant materials.
Hospitals and emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, faced a shortage of personal protection equipment as well as disinfectant materials as people stockpiled materials like wipes, face masks, and hand sanitizer.
After a barrage of social media posts detailing just how devastating the shortage was, some companies decided to take matters into their own hands. Companies like Tito’s Vodka, Pernod Ricard, and Mary Kay Makeup all pivoted their production lines to help meet the global demand for disinfectant products.
In March, Mary Kay announced that they were going to join the fight against COVID-19 and start production on alcohol-based hand sanitizers per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company has donated their products to frontline workers within Texas and across the country.
Upon hearing the news of her company’s initiative, Smithsburg resident Leslie Kocevar excitedly posted on Facebook. Shortly after Kocevar shared her post, she was approached by Jeff Hardman, a fellow Smithsburg resident and emergency medical technician.
Hardman asked if Mary Kay would be willing to sell their hand sanitizer to the Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services as they were facing a shortage of the product since the pandemic began. Kocevar said she then reached out to her company — who informed her that private purchases were not available.
She said Mary Kay then reached back out to her, stating that while they were unable to offer private purchases, they would be willing to donate the much needed product to the Smithsburg EMS. Shortly after, 108 bottles of Mary Kay hand sanitizer arrived at the Smithsburg EMS station. Hardman says the product will help to protect not only the station and volunteers but the greater Smithsburg community.
“If there’s a second wave [of COVID] we’re already going to be ahead of the game with what we have here. So if there is a shortage of it again, we’ll already have some in stock to be able to take them and protect us.”Jeff Hardman, Smithsburg EMS
Kocevar said she has been a Mary Kay representative for 20 years. Now as an independent sales director, she is immensely proud of her company. She stated that she is proud of how a national company which is based in Dallas would be so willing to help her small Maryland town.
The Smithsburg EMS is predominately volunteer based and plays a necessary role in the Smithsburg community. For more information on how you can donate or volunteer, please visit their website, SEMS79.org.
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