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Community bands together to collect medical supplies

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Richard Piendak, right, and Dave Tiberi, left, have spearheaded a donation drive for medical equipment for ChrisitanaCare. | PHOTO COURTESY OF NICOLE POORE

Richard Piendak, the former owner of Richards Paving in Newport, had been reading about the shortage of needed medical supplies at hospitals around the country and it bothered him to know the health care workers on the front line may be in need. On Saturday, he decided to do something to help the doctors, nurses and medical staff in Delaware, so he called longtime friend Dave Tiberi, president of Emergency Response Protocol in Newport.

They reached out to State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore, Delmarva Power President Gary Stockbridge and Ed Capodanno, president of the Delaware chapter of the American Builders and Contractors, who have helped coordinate a community support effort.

Together the organizing committee has sourced donations of more than 5,000 pairs of safety glasses and gloves along with hand sanitizer. Piendak and Ron Bennett, of Delaware Auto Salvage, who has donated his time to pick up donated supplies, also donated funds to purchase 900 masks for medical workers.

“The response has been overwhelming as we hear from more local companies that are looking to give back. We’ve had organizations go in and divvy up what they have knowing that some of their employees may not be working right now,” Tiberi said, referring to companies donating from their inventories. “They’re doing it for the right reasons, and I think that’s what really meant a lot to us. When we get these calls, it inspires us to do more.”

Kristen L. Raber, corporate director of cloud innovation services at ChristianaCare, said that the health care system is well-stocked with supplies at the moment, but donation drives like that run by business leaders will help it prepare for the future in lieu of the unprecedented pandemic.

“The response from the community and from our Delaware business leaders and individuals has been tremendous. We really could not do this and prepare for this without them,” she said.

To build off the local businessmen’s efforts, ChristianaCare will staff a drop-off location for items like masks, gloves and thermometers at Piendak’s office space located at 110 W. Market St. in Newport. Staff will be present from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, to Friday, March 27, and longer if needed. In order to abide by suggested social distancing guidelines, donors are asked to pack the supplies in their trunk, open it at their arrival and stay in their vehicle as staff retrieves the items.

If you cannot make it to the drop-off location, email Piendak at [email protected] to schedule a pickup.

By Jacob Owens

[email protected]

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